cover image Hangman


Chris A. Bohjalian. Carroll & Graf Publishers, $18.95 (301pp) ISBN 978-0-88184-685-0

Soon after this smoothly written mystery/horror novel begins, Marcia Middleton finds the body of her husband, Brian, hanging from the attic rafters of their new house in Deering, Vt. Relocated New Yorkers, the couple had moved only a month before--shortly after Brian had confessed to an adulterous affair. An autopsy reveals that the victim was dead before his body was hoisted. Once the police learn about Brian's indiscretion and his wife-beating, they label Marcia a murder suspect. Detective J. P. Burrows, however, can't find any evidence against the widow, though he does build a case that an evil force in the Middleton house killed Brian. In the meantime, the beautiful Marcia seems to be going slowly out of her mind--from guilt perhaps. Burrows finds out, too late for one victim, that a conscience can be a dangerous thing. Bohjalian's ( A Killing in the Real World ) plot glides to a chilling conclusion. (May)