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In a dark portrayal of a maddened man, the son and partner of a powerful, corrupt New York lawyer undertakes a final shady deal as his life spins out of control and he becomes a prime suspect in a murder. Reprint.
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Peter Landesman is the author of The Raven, which won the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He has written for the New Yorker, New York, and the New York Times magazines. He lives in New York City.From Kirkus Reviews:
Some dazzling verbal and atmospheric effects distinguish, but dont entirely redeem, this highly pitched portrayal of a corrupt attorney's descent into a maelstrom of his own making: the second novel from the author of The Raven (1995), which won a Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction. The story begins on a high point: the discovery of the body of Isabel Santos, secretary and sometime lover to Nathan Stein, a lawyer whose derelict and incorrigibly criminal clients pay him with cocaine, protection, a nd entree to the more lucrative levels of New York City's thriving drug trade. Evidence immediately points to Nathan as Isabel's killer, but his intricate connections with powerful people (notably Stein pere, also a notoriously connected attorney) and the mixed feelings that torment NYPD detective Errol Santos, Nathan's old law school classmate (and Isabel's brother), leave Nathan free to wander the city's mean midnight streets in a fog of guilty recollection. Landesman glides forward and backward in time , exploring the disturbed consciousness of Nathan, Errol, and also Claire Proffitt (!), an embittered paralegal who was once Stein's mistress and fiance (and the mother of his malformed baby) and is now Santos's lover. Other coincidences and dark secrets abound in a feverish melodrama that features arresting imagery (storm clouds are ``dark horses rearing up''; in a hospital morgue, ``fermenting corpses stretched out like loaves in their individual ovens'') and emotionally overloaded scenes (Nathan's bela ted visit to the dying mother of his other illegitimate child; a chilling Rikers Island interview with a murderous drug-dealer/godmother; a climactic fire at the Steins' East Hampton mansion). It all frets and struts impressively, and Landesman comes thro ugh with a stunning explanation of his storys central mystery, capping it with a terrifically bleak, sardonic denouement. Still, the novel feels willfully obscure, as well as over- indebted to obvious models (Chinatown, William Styron's Lie Down in Darkne ss). Bold, often enthralling stuffbut one guesses the gifted Landesman can do better. -- Copyright ©1998, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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Book Description Penguin Books, 2000. Paperback. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX014028236X