Saint X

Alexis Schaitkin. Celadon, $26.99 (343p) ISBN 978-1-250-21959-6
Schaitkin’s unsettling debut plays with the conventions of the romantic thriller to comment on the uneasy relationship between working-class residents of a fictional island in the Caribbean and the wealthy American tourists who visit it. In 1995, a couple from a New York City suburb and their two daughters, adventurous college freshman Alison and cautious seven-year-old Claire, visit a resort on the island. Alison flirts with two workers at the resort, Clive and Edwin, and takes off with them nightly without her parents’ knowledge to visit a local club, where she dances, drinks, and gets high. One night, she doesn’t return, and her body is soon found on a nearby island. Though suspicion falls on Clive and Edwin, they are not charged with any crime. In present-day N.Y.C., Claire, who narrates much of the novel, recognizes Clive, now a cab driver, from the back seat of his taxi. Obsessed with learning what happened to Alison, she stalks him while neglecting her work and friends. As Claire embeds herself in Clive’s life, he grows increasingly wary, until he finally snaps and reveals what he knows about the final night of Alison’s life. As the novel gradually shifts to Clive’s point of view, Schaitkin subverts the other characters’ assumptions about the lives and intentions of strangers. This is a smart page-turner, both thought-provoking and effortlessly entertaining. Agent: Henry Dunlow, Dunlow, Carlson & Lerner Literary Agency. (Feb.)
Reviewed on : 11/21/2019
Release date: 02/18/2020
Genre: Fiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-250-23975-4
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