A Woman Run Mad

John L'Heureux, Author Viking Books $17.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-670-81752-8
Less accomplished than one would expect from the publisher's advance ballyhoo, but leading up to a boffo ending, L'Heureux's (Desires) new novel titillates and titillatesand finally delivers. The major flaw is a cast of superficial, unappealing characters, each eccentric and self-involved, but bound together in a weave of coincidental meetings and relationships and further linked by an omnipresent, ugly, little boy. Feckless, self-exculpating J. J. Quinn is a bitter man: a failed novelist, he has just been denied tenure at Williams. Even more galling, his supportive, super efficient, tenured wife Claire is teaching a summer term at Dartmouth while Quinn is supposedly working on his novel in Boston. But Quinn is obsessed with Brahmin Sarah Slade, whom he spots shoplifting in Bonwit's and follows home to Louisburg Square. There he encounters her bodyguard, Angelo Tallino, a flagrant homosexual who reads existentialist authors and sleeps with Sarah's brother, president of the family firm. A decade earlier, Sarah had murdered and castrated her lover, had been found mad, and now is functionally dependent on her psychiatrist. When Claire discovers Quinn and Sarah's affair, she begins a campaign to win Quinn backand from this point the novel escalates in irony and tension. Often pretentious (quotes from Kierkegaard, snippets of Latin) the book is part thriller, part social comedy, part psychological suspense novel; and if L'Heureux has sacrificed credibility, he has come up with a surefire movie scenario. 35,000 first printing; major ad/promo; Literary Guild alternate. (January )
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
Paperback - 258 pages - 978-0-8021-3731-9
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-380-70686-0
Open Ebook - 978-1-322-48329-0
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