cover image The Descent of Man

The Descent of Man

Kevin Desinger, Unbridled, $24.95 (272p) ISBN 978-1-609530-43-3

A mild-mannered man hears the "call of the wild" at a crime scene and creates an avalanche of trouble in Desinger's lively debut. Late one night, vintner Jim Sandusky spies two thieves attempting to break into his car. Against the advice of his schoolteacher wife, Marla, he sneaks outside and, in a fit of anger-induced irrationality, absconds with the robbers' truck, driving it into a ditch, busting out the windows, and setting off a chain of sinister repercussions as Jim takes a new job, and Larry Hood, one of the thieves, begins stalking him. Larry ends up dead, Jim suffers sleepless nights and wanders through sketchy parts of town (much to Marla's chagrin), and the second car thief re-emerges. Flashbacks of Jim and Marla's romance and their tortured efforts to conceive, and a police sergeant's compassionate aid add depth and personality to a narrative that, though indecisive in spots, sustains itself with a suspenseful plot and capable writing. (May)