cover image Closing Costs

Closing Costs

Bracken MacLeod. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $25 (320p) ISBN 978-0-358-33473-6

As an assistant funeral director in Cambridge, Mass., Nelle Pereira believes she’s more comfortable with mortality than most—that is, until she suddenly faces the very real prospect of her own death when, in this noirish thriller from MacLeod (Come to Dust), she and her husband fall victim to a home invasion. Bound and gagged in the cellar of what now seems like a dangerously isolated dream home the couple bought only three months earlier, Nelle struggles to control her panic, stay alive, and figure out what, if anything, the pair’s plight might have to do with a secret they share. The author judiciously intercuts flashbacks that provide needed relief from otherwise unrelenting tension as well as introduce additional story lines that stunningly blow up the plot in the second half. While the graphic violence and extended threat of sexual assault may be difficult for some, those steely enough will find a powerful if not entirely plausible epic of crime and karmic consequences. MacLeod does a masterly job combining horror and suspense. [em]Agent: Howard Morhaim, Howard Morhaim Literary. (July) [/em]