cover image Eden in Winter

Eden in Winter

Richard North Patterson. Quercus, $26.95 (400p) ISBN 978-1-62365-147-3

In the middling conclusion to bestseller Patterson’s Blaine trilogy (after 2013’s Loss of Innocence), an avid prosecutor believes that someone pushed author Benjamin Blaine from a cliff on Martha’s Vineyard, and wants to charge Ben’s gay son, Teddy, or Ben’s brother, Jack, with committing the crime. Adam, Teddy’s CIA agent brother, deploys his professional skills in Teddy’s defense, and brokers an uneasy truce between his family and Carla Pacelli, a former actress who was Ben’s girlfriend. Amid memories of bitter competition and harsh betrayal by Ben, Adam grows closer to Carla. Together, they dissect their personal histories, choices, and struggles in lengthy conversations. North is at his best when characters’ keen insights lead to broader truths about the human experience. However, heavy-handed observations, repetition, and excessive dialogue and introspection weigh down the plot, which fails to gain traction as a mystery or achieve its potential for psychological depth. Agent: Cullen Stanley, Janklow & Nesbit Associates. (July)