cover image The Editor

The Editor

Thomas William Simpson. Bantam Books, $6.5 (368pp) ISBN 978-0-553-57396-1

Reeling from the recent murder of his wife and son, successful book editor Sam Adams moves into a rented cottage on the property of beautiful, blind cellist Evelyn Richmond because his own house holds too many painful memories. Sam is intrigued by his new landlady, who alternates flirtatious behavior with rudeness and hostility. He senses that she is playing some kind of sexual game with him and finds himself irresistibly drawn to her. They soon begin a passionate affair, and Sam's interest in Evelyn turns into an unhealthy obsession. The story is told through Sam's journal entries, in which he relives the horrible day his family was killed and explores his feelings for Evelyn. Unfortunately, the development of Sam and Evelyn's strange relationship, interspersed with Sam's memories of the past and with mundane details of his daily life, is insufficient to sustain the novel's plot or develop its suspense. But Simpson (The Hancock Boys) does manage to conjure up a terrifically startling ending that somewhat redeems his lackluster story line. (Sept.)