cover image Stash


David Klein, Broadway, $14.99 paper (384p) ISBN 978-0-307-71681-1

A small misstep derails several lives in Klein's intriguing if uneven debut, which examines a mix of middle-class upstate New Yorkers, chiefly Gwen Raine and her husband. Gwen's misfortune begins with the purchase of a small bag of marijuana from restaurateur and former lover Jude Gates. Later, a car accident that isn't her fault results in the death of an elderly man. When police detective William Keller finds the bag of marijuana in Gwen's car and decides to go after her to get the name of her supplier, a charge of possession turns into much more. Klein paints a sometimes too clinical picture of an idyllic suburban life—successful workaholic husband, two near-perfect kids, a stay-at-home mom heavily involved in PTA activities. Eschewing a focus on evildoers, Klein instead portrays how the unintended consequences of one bad decision spread exponentially and change the fates of many people, but does so in a fashion where the design is often more important than the characters. (July)