THE POLICY

Bentley Little, Author . Signet $6.99 (400p) ISBN 978-0-451-20954-2

Similar in style and structure to Little's previous books (The Association, etc.), this chilling tale revolves around a handful of tightly knit characters living in Tucson, Ariz.—including recently divorced Hunt Jackson, his new wife, his co-workers and his best buddy from high school—who are continually harassed by a pesky insurance salesman. The salesman tries to convince them to purchase bizarre policies protecting them from the law, their bosses and even death, and if the clients refuse, inexplicable consequences usually follow. When Jackson turns down additional insurance, for example, he is incomprehensibly charged with child molestation and thrown in jail. Then he buys so-called conviction insurance while behind bars, and the alleged victim is killed in a car accident. One of Little's primary strengths is his ability to create believable characters whose lives are disrupted by a seemingly mundane yet supernatural force. Those characters then emerge as heroes by single-handedly defeating that force—in this case, an omnipotent insurance company that is bent on destroying the world one policyholder at a time. That said, by this point in the author's career—this is his 14th novel—Little's approach, while still enjoyable, has become predictable. (Sept. 2)

Reviewed on: 08/11/2003
Release date: 09/01/2003
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