cover image The Blade Between

The Blade Between

Sam J. Miller. Ecco, $26.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-06-296982-8

Gay photographer Ronan Szepessy, the flawed, refreshingly frank narrator of much of this gripping mashup of psychological suspense and horror from SF author Miller (Blackfish City), left Hudson, N.Y., long ago for Manhattan. When he finally returns to visit his ailing father, he discovers that his once sleepy hometown is now thriving and that prosperity threatens to force out many of its longtime residents. Ronan reconnects with two old friends, his first love, Dom, a police detective, and Dom’s wife, Attalah, and soon Ronan and Attalah join forces to expose the corporate interests backing the gentrification. What starts as harmless pranks on their part wakes the spirits of the town and forces Ronan to come to terms with his love for a place he thought he’d left behind. Ronan’s relationship with the couple at the center of the story—Dom, with whom he’s sleeping, and Attalah, with whom he’s conniving—provides murky, uncomfortable tension. The author takes his time in introducing the supernatural, but once he does, the novel lifts off toward an exciting conclusion. Insightful social commentary is a bonus. Thriller fans will welcome Miller as a fresh new voice. [em]Agent: Seth Fishman, Gernert Company. (Dec.) [/em]