DARKLING I LISTEN
Boozing, brawling and a three-year stint in the state pen for manslaughter have left Brandon Carlyle's movie career in shambles. After being released from prison, the Hollywood bad boy seeks refuge on his aunt and uncle's farm in Ticky Creek, Tex., but he quickly discovers that he can't hide from the ghosts of his past: a stalker named Anticipating is sending him threatening letters, and the corrupt town sheriff is determined to put him back in the slammer. In addition, Brandon must fend off the sheriff's sister, who believes she's the reincarnation of Marilyn Monroe, and the advances of a sexy, underage Wal-Mart checker. When beautiful tabloid reporter Alyson James stumbles onto his property claiming that she intends to write his autobiography, Brandon realizes that he may have found the woman he can settle down with, but first he must contend with Anticipating. Sutcliffe (Fever, etc) captures the atmosphere of this backwater town and engages readers with her convincing cast of oddball characters. Although the stalker's identity is never a mystery, readers will enjoy watching this tangled web unravel. (Sept.)
Forecast:Readers who are unfamiliar with Sutcliffe's books may be put off by the novel's blurry, red-washed cover and misleading title (drawn from John Keats's Ode to a Nightingale), but her many fans will embrace this edgy romantic thriller.