cover image The Deep End: A Novel of Suspense

The Deep End: A Novel of Suspense

Chris Crutcher. William Morrow & Company, $19 (310pp) ISBN 978-0-688-09983-1

The worst fears of therapist Wilson Corder come true in YA novelist Crutcher's harrowing glimpse into child abuse. The father of kids hit hard by a truculent divorce, Corder's immediate worry is the abduction of Sabrina Parker, whose alcoholic mother is his patient. When the young girl is found, dead, Corder's children, Trevor and Emily, fear for their own lives. Soon Corder finds his cat impaled on his front door, and is sent notes warning him against treating Sabrina's traumatized brother, Jerry, who might have been the sole witness to the kidnapping. As police pursue the theory that Sabrina's killer is Marvin Edwards, a drifter and known molester, Corder is also desperately trying to learn if famous anger therapist Jefferyspok Banner intentionally scalded his stepson, Craig. Corder's colleague John Sheldon, however, urges him away from his work with Craig, arguing that Banner's reputation is at stake. But after Corder and Jerry are attacked by Edwards during a carefully planned trip to the site of Sabrina's murder, Corder wonders if Sheldon might have tipped off the molester. Tension mounts as a new player, ``a twelve-on-a-scale-of-ten dangerous dude,'' is unveiled. What's worse, someone has sent this psycho after Emily and Trevor--all of which builds to a riveting climax. Sensitive and judiciously humorous writing further distinguishes the story. (Jan.)