cover image Bronze: A Tale of Terror

Bronze: A Tale of Terror

Kit Reed, . . Night Shade, $24.95 (249pp) ISBN 978-1-59780-008-2

The cost of being a slave to talent, fame or fortune provides the theme for this exceptional thriller from Reed, an expert at creating witty cautionary tales (Thinner Than Thou ). Sinister secrets lurk at Wayward, a South Carolina plantation, whose "doomed inhabitants," the Benedicts, are "caught in a dark globe of family obsession, terrible and huge." More than a hundred years earlier, Beauchamp Benedict's famous sculpture, God and His Creation , mysteriously disappeared en route to the National Cathedral, and now a centennial celebration is in the works, masterminded by the leader of his descendants, the maniacal Ava Benedict. The Benedicts have continued to awe the world with their sculptures, which, alas, require blood sacrifice. Judith "Jude" Atkins, a lowly jewelry designer, may become a victim, along with 11-year-old Edgar Benedict, the little brother of Peter, a painter who wants to escape the family legacy and with whom Jude has fallen in love. Seductive pacing and Reed's trademark glittering prose make this a chilling, satisfying exploration of art for art's sake vs. life for life's sake. Agent, Andrew Blauner. (Nov.)