Manner of Death

Stephen White, Author Dutton Books $23.95 (356p) ISBN 978-0-525-94440-9
The invigorating twists and turns of practicing psychologist White's (Privileged Information) new Alan Gregory thriller drag readers over rugged Colorado terrain, past a gauntlet of eccentric characters spawned by the Rocky Mountain lifestyle, through the most intimate details of the protagonists' lives, leaving them gasping at the switchback ending of this chilling stalker novel. Attending the funeral of a former colleague, Boulder psychologist Alan learns from two quirky ex-FBI agents that this is the latest in a string of clueless murders targeting the entire group of students, supervisors and staff who shared Alan's clinical psychology residency some years earlier. Only Alan and his former lover, Dr. Sawyer Sackett, now survive, and they are undoubtedly next on the killer's hit list. Alan's wife, Lauren, a prosecuting attorney afflicted with multiple sclerosis, is threatened as well, but throws her considerable skills fully into the fray. Alan's friend on the Boulder police force, Detective Sam Purdy, provides police clout, FBI equalizing and protection for Lauren. The pros go after former patients, but Alan and Sawyer snoop best, tracing a lead involving legendary hijacker D.B. Cooper and some truly disturbed suspects. White conveys his love for Colorado and his profession while delivering an evaluation of the mental health industry. Martinet shrinks and caring analysts get equal billing, while both the promise and limitations of psychology are cleanly spelled out. A newly honed sense of humor adds zip to White's prose without detracting a mite from the menace and gore. Literary Guild, Doubleday Book Club and Mystery Guild selections. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/04/1999
Release date: 01/01/1999
Genre: Fiction
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