Bill Corde looks down at the face of the murdered girl and sees the horror of sudden death. He cannot know, as he stands there at the trampled, muddy scene beside the college girl's corpse, that his own life is about to slip into terror. He cannot know that everything he holds precious is about to shatter before his eyes. He cannot know that his career-and his family-are about to enter a new dimension of danger. For Bill Corde, the killer is everything he fears most. For Sarah, Bill's wild, learning-impaired daughter, trapped in a world of frustration and ridicule, he may be just the person she's been waiting for. Someone who understands her worries and loneliness. Someone who signs his notes "The Sunshine Man." Someone she can run away with-even a perfect stranger.
Attorney-author Deaver, whose Manhattan Is My Beat was an Edgar nominee, delivers a harrowing and substantial suspense thriller. The investigation into the murder of Auden University coed Jennie Gebben, whose mutilated body is found in a "bed of muddied hyacinths," coincides with crises in the life of Lt. Bill Corde of New Lebanon, Ind. While the case draws Corde into a maelstrom of academic politics and sexual obsession, his learning-impaired nine-year-old daughter writes stories about a wizard named the Sunshine Man, his teenaged son constructs sexual fantasies from multiple viewings of a science fiction film, and his wife finds comfort with the young professor who tutors their daughter. As more murders occur at the financially endangered college and hysteria about cult killings pervades the community, Corde's family is harassed by snapshots and notes somehow secreted into private areas of the house. As Corde follows an intricate trail emblazoned with sadomasochism, bisexuality and vaulting academic ambition, he is surrounded by well-drawn secondary characters: his children, the villain, certain venal academics and a security guard. Terror steadily accelerates in this page-turner until the final riveting secrets are revealed.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Showing 1-1 of the 1 most recent reviews
1 . Over-written, Over-done
Posted July 26, 2010 by Constant Reader , Upstate NYThere is too much of too much in this novel. It has all the requisite plot twists, flip-overs & double-backs - in fact, rather too many. The "family" characterizations are over-done & do not ring true - abused children rebel, resist & turn self-destructive, healthy, loved (even if neglected or learning-disabled) DO NOT. Even if they are not educated, most people THINK, and even think twice. Half the characters in this story are totally one-dimensional, the others are screaming their agony at the reader (even though they are not in any agony). The motivation of the murderer is on the other hand, very weak (even though pretty awfully creepy).
February 28, 1994
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