A series of seemingly random murders along a fifty-mile stretch of the rugged northern California coast, committed by an unknown dubbed by the media the Coastline Killer. A young couple with marital problems, Shelby and Jay Macklin, who decide to spend the week between Christmas and New Year's at a friend's remote coastal cottage. Two couples in a neighboring home whose relationships are thick with festering menace. A fierce winter storm that leads to a night of unrelenting terror. These are the main ingredients in Bill Pronzini's chilling and twist-filled tale about the hidden nature of crime and its motives.
Routine prose and thin characters mar this stand-alone novel of suspense from MWA Grand Master Pronzini (The Other Side of Silence). Jay Macklin, who six months earlier lost his office manager job, has persuaded his paramedic wife, Shelby Hunter, to spend a few days at a friend's remote Northern California cottage, in a last-ditch effort to save their 12-year-old marriage. At night, in a winter downpour, they have trouble finding the cottage. On a search for matches after a power failure, the couple drive to a neighbor's house, where they encounter Brian and Claire Lomax, whose marriage is obviously in more trouble than their own. Jay and Shelby soon realize Brian physically abuses Claire. When the Coastline Killer, a vigilante who's been targeting random victims because they don't respect the environment, claims another victim, the local police consider Jay a suspect. The denouement will leave many readers feeling cheated. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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November 08, 2010
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