Charlotte Vale Allen, Author
Charlotte Vale Allen, Author Atheneum Books $16.95 (289p) ISBN 978-0-689-11891-3
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
In an intense, suspenseful tale reminiscent of John Fowles's The Collector, Allen (Time/Steps portrays a coincidental encounter that culminates in a woman's abduction, rape and terrorization. After her young stepson dies, renowned children's book illustrator Stanleigh Dunn is prostrated by grief. She decides to visit England, where she plans to see her father, from whom she has been estranged. On the flight from New York, Leigh strikes up a conversation with Daniel Godard, a dapper businessman who is as attracted to her as she is to him. Although miffed when Daniel arrives at her hotel, Leigh nevertheless succumbs to his sexual advances, hoping to temporarily obliterate her sorrow. Back in New York, she tentatively emerges from bereavement, but Daniel, still haunted by his wife's gruesome suicide and gripped by an encompassing, unhealthy desire for Leigh, begins to stalk her. Daniel's self-control wanes; he kidnaps Leigh, imprisons her in his apartment and repeatedly molests her until remorse brings him to his senses. Allen builds the tension to an almost unbearable pitch in her riveting novel, which penetratingly explores the fragile boundaries between sanity and madness, lust and obsession. (May 20)
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