cover image Silver Lake

Silver Lake

Peter Gadol, . . Bleak House, $24.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-1-60648-044-1

The peaceful home life of two L.A. architects is brutally disrupted after they find their overnight guest, eccentric artist Tom Field, hanging from their neighbor’s tree in Gadol’s sad, chilling sixth novel. Is it suicide, murder or a prank gone seriously wrong? As LAPD’s Detective Michaels investigates, the architects Rob Voight and his partner of 20 years, Carlo Stein, each nurse a secret. Carlo, who met Tom after a carjacking months earlier, had an affair with him that ended before Tom showed up at their office needing a phone. Rob retrieves Tom’s address book without telling Carlo or Michaels, and begins calling Tom’s contacts to inform them of his death and to learn more about him. Acts of vandalism aimed at Rob and Carlo contribute to the brooding sense of unease. While some readers may find the ending confusing, Gadol (Light at Dusk ) scores points about the importance of truth in enduring relationships. (Aug.)