Lauren Kelly, Author . Ecco $22.95 (229p) ISBN 978-0-06-056551-0

Five-year-old Lorraine Quade loves her momma, but crazy Hedy Quade returns this love in mighty peculiar ways: "Squeezing her hands around my throat so that my eyes opened wide and there were splotches of black like sequins and I started to panic and kick and Momma relaxed her grip, it was O.K. Momma was only just playing, like Momma did sometimes." The emphasis falls squarely on the psychological in this unusual novel of psychological suspense, as pretty soon momma loads Lorraine and older brother Ryan into their 1968 Chevy sedan and drives into an oncoming freight train. Twenty-two years later, Lorraine is alive though badly scarred both mentally and physically; she's changed her name to Lara and is working as a research fellow at the Institute for Semiotics, Aesthetics and Cultural Research at Princeton. After receiving an anonymous gift of an expensive ticket to a concert, she finds herself seated next to an unlikely classical music fan: "The intruder was a youngish ox of a man with unshaven, stubbled jaws and punk-style hair." His name is Zedrick Dewe, and Lara, who's inexplicably drawn to him, later lets him come up to her apartment, with disastrous consequences. Lara's life, never a model of stability, begins to unravel even further as she seeks answers to mysteries involving murder, incest, insanity and obsession. Kelly couples stylish (and sometimes affected) prose with an unusual plot structure, casting back and forth from past to present to build suspense and gradually reveal secrets. This is not your mother's whodunit, but readers with a taste for the unusual will find it chilling and compelling. (May)

Forecast: The novel is just quirky enough to become an offbeat hit for Kelly, a pseudonym for "a bestselling and award-winning author." Look for a movie sale with actresses fighting to play the role of Lara, a sure-fire bet for a Best Actress Oscar nomination.

Reviewed on: 03/22/2004
Release date: 05/01/2004
Genre: Fiction
Ebook - 240 pages - 978-0-06-115493-5
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 240 pages - 978-0-06-058898-4
Paperback - 229 pages - 978-0-06-056552-7
Ebook - 240 pages - 978-0-06-175510-1
Open Ebook - 240 pages - 978-0-06-058900-4
Show other formats
Discover what to read next