cover image Starburst


Robin Pilcher, Author . St. Martin’s/Dunne $24.95 (390p) ISB

The bustling Edinburgh International Festival—an actual annual cultural event in Scotland featuring a plethora of the arts—serves as the dynamic backdrop for this nicely handled ensemble novel from Pilcher (A Risk Worth Taking ). The first 100 pages introduce a multitude of lead characters, including renowned violinist Angelique Pascal, smalltown comedienne Rene Brownlow, supposedly reformed criminal Thomas Keene, retired cinematographer Leonard Hartson and others. Each has something another needs — a paying job to offer, a room to let, a shoulder to cry on. As their lives begin to intersect over the course of the three-week festival, betrayal, new love, car chases and attempts at artistic glory ensue. Some of the dialogue can be a challenge (“So ye thocht ye could hide awa’ frae us, did ye?”), but Pilcher keeps the stage full of light and color. (Aug.)