Halbman Steals Home

B Glen Rotchin, Author
B. Glen Rotchin. Permanent, $19.99 trade paper (192p) ISBN 978-1-4597-0127-4
Reviewed on: 11/28/2011
Release date: 03/01/2012
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Rotchin’s talents for character are on fine display in the darkly comical Mort Halbman. At 65, he’s an incorrigible curmudgeon yearning to make amends for his former missteps. A diehard Montreal Expos fan, Halbman pilots his Jaguar to a tony Canadian enclave to see the house he built 35 years ago for his family. A suspicious fire has devoured the home, but Halbman returns again and again, gaining the attention of authorities who accuse him of arson. Complicating matters is his pesky ex-wife, Mona (who he divorced in their seventh year of marriage) and her boyfriend; Halbman’s new love interest; and Jacob, his gay son, who’s scouting for rabbis to officiate his marriage. “It may be too late for you, but he deserves a shot at happiness,” Mona tells Halbman. A plethora of Jewish jabs and general calamity follow, with Rotchin doing a decent job of keeping plot points simmering in a narrative that incorporates hot-button issues like gay marriage, vengeful ex-lovers, and the power of redemption. As impressively crafted as his debut novel, The Rent Collector, Rotchin’s follow-up will entertain those searching for an uncomplicated, engaging read. Agent: Westwood Creative Arts. (Feb.)