Bad Desire-Rer's Ed.
Devon follows his praised first novel, Lost , with an account of forbidden love and serial murder that thrills from intriguing start to chilling finish. Wealthy, powerful Henry Slater, charismatic mayor of a Southern California town, and his wife, Faith, a devotee of charitable causes, seem pillars of righteousness. But Slater is obsessed with gorgeous high school junior Sheila Bonner. He woos her with charm and jewelry, but their time together is limited by her nosy grandmother--who is soon a murder victim, the first of several crimes that rock the community. Meanwhile, Slater's hypocrisies toward his wife and constituency multiply. This timely portrait of a respected public figure hiding a scandalous private life should strike a strong chord. Slater's tender love for Sheila, titillating but not distasteful, has elements of Humbert Humbert's infatuation with Lolita. Faith's experience of betrayal and revenge is equally stirring. But it is Devon's portrait of Slater, a man blinded by love and power, commanding sympathy even as he commits unthinkable acts, that makes this page-turner eerily believable. 40,000 first printing. (Sept.)