Books, life the universe

Thursday, 30 April 2009


The title of a book by Stephen Amidon which I've just read. Set in small town America it deals in an understated way with the goings on - legal and illegal - of the people who live there. Edward is a security expert whose company installs alarm systems. He has a serious insomnia problem and an ex-girlfriend who seems to occupy his current thinking more than is wise. His wife, Meg, is an up and coming local politician. Doyle Cutler is a powerful local figure. Edward happens to be in his office when the telephone operator receives a message of an alarm activation at Doyle's house. Even though Doyle himself answers the phone and says everything is all right, Edward feels there's something strange going on and drives out to the house to re-assure himself.

A few days later Mary Steckl, a student at the local university claims she was sexually assaulted at Cutler's house on the night of the false alarm. Edward believes she is telling the truth and tries to find out what happened. His wife meanwhile has reasons of her own for putting a different interpretation on Mary's story. You can almost feel the claustrophobic atmosphere of this small town through the author's writing.

I thought the characters were interesting and believable and the writing was stylish. The book wasn't too American - which some American fiction is with loads of references it is difficult to understand if you live this side of the Atlantic. The ending also fitted the rest of the book even though it wasn't quite what I expected.

No comments: