cover image The Comfort of Black

The Comfort of Black

Carter Wilson. Oceanview (Midpoint, dist.), $26.95 (272p) ISBN 978-1-60809-129-4

Hannah Parks, the heroine of Carter’s outstanding paranoid thriller, is the tightly wrapped and semi-alcoholic but nevertheless determinedly happy wife of Dallin, a rising Seattle Internet-security entrepreneur—until Dallin mutters words in his sleep that suggest he’s a sadistic murderer. Then everything falls apart. None of the certainties in Hannah’s life can be trusted: all the people around her are potential traitors, and she isn’t safe anywhere. She even suspects that the personable and ultracompetent man who calls himself Black may have come to her rescue a bit too conveniently. Hannah’s brutal childhood makes her believably vulnerable, and Carter (The Boy in the Woods) is extremely good at creating a series of shattering, Philip K. Dickian revelations that would rock anyone’s personal security. The explanation for all the devious plotting, perhaps inevitably, is somewhat anticlimactic, but readers still will be absorbed by Hannah’s struggle to understand what has been done to her and to re-create a sane life. [em]Agent: Pam Ahearn, Ahearn Agency. (Aug.) [/em]