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Carter Graham is a successful, financially secure London lawyer in her mid-thirties, a partner in her firm. She has the perfect clothes, the perfect car, the perfect apartment and, as of a few months ago, the perfect husband. She is perfectly on track, exactly where she hoped to be at this point in her life. Except that reality is about to change her course.
Carter slowly begins to learn that her husband, Kim, is not what he seems. People from his past hint at a serious involvement in the occult and at a connection between his family and the Nazis. Carter has a disturbing encounter with the "psychic healer" who warned Kim against their marriage; and, even more alarming, with what seems to be the ghost of Kim's ex-wife, recently deceased in a suspicious accident. Kim grows more and more cagey in his explanations for his increasingly devious behavior. Bit by bit, everything Carter thought she knew about him--and about herself--is called into question.
Her world shattering--is she going mad?--Carter plunges into a darkness and terror she has never known before. In desperation, pushing past her long-held scepticism, she seeks shelter and help at St. Benet's Healing Centre. Now, with the aid of the people who run the Centre--Father Nicholas Darrow, a mysteriously alluring healer; Father Lewis Hall, Darrow's down-to-earth counterpart; Alice, the magnificent cook and all-round angel of mercy; and Tucker, a lay worker whose interest in helping Carter is both altruistic and deeply personal--Carter begins a psychological and spiritual journey that will bring her to a startling understanding of Kim and, more important, of her own life, past and future.
Following in the tradition she has so brilliantly made her own, Susan Howatch once again gives us a novel that weaves together the ecclesiastical and the earthly in an electrifying, masterfully told story.
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"When I first saw my temporary secretary it never occurred to me to flirt with him." The bemused confidence and upended assumption of this first sentence from The High Flyer, by Susan Howatch, reveal a great deal about the character who speaks it and the shape of this novel as a whole. The narrator, Carter Graham, is a successful London lawyer, a "high flyer" whose thoroughly secular plan for a perfect life (clothes, car, kids, etc.) is proceeding quite punctually, thanks to her strong sense of entitlement and her talent for social manipulation. The events that follow, however, undermine Carter's confident assumptions regarding the inner lives of the people around her. Carter meets and marries another high flyer, a charming business titan named Kim. Slowly, Carter learns of Kim's involvement in the occult, his Nazi past, and the suspicious circumstances surrounding the death of his former wife. As the mysteries of Kim's past are revealed to Carter, Kim's personality undergoes a deep and demonic transformation. Carter, terrified, seeks shelter at a Christian healing center, where a cast of clerics and lay people help Carter reconstruct a life for herself, and a theological and psychological framework that makes some sense of the blindness and betrayal that destroyed her life with Kim. "[C]reation's not about efficiency," explains one character, "it's about love. It's about shedding blood, sweat and tears to make the thing you care about come right. It's about enduring the shadow side of creation and using it so that in the end everything can be brought into the light." The novel's greatest strength is its suspenseful plotting, which calls to mind (thanks in part to the narrator's frequent allusions to) the films of Alfred Hitchcock. --Michael Joseph GrossFrom the Publisher:
"Good and evil clash in gripping, intellectually satisfying ways...Vivid and absorbing....from one of the best correspondents on the war between darkness and light. Another winner."
-- Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Devoted readers of Howatch's Starbridge series (Glamorous Powers; Glittering Images; Absolute Truths) will be delighted to encounter recurring characters Nicholas Darrow and Lewis Hall in her new psychological-spiritual thriller. Entertaining and intellectually stimulating."
-- Publishers Weekly
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Book Description Alfred A. Knopf. Hardcover. Condition: New. 0375410570 Ships promptly from Texas. Seller Inventory # Z0375410570ZN
Book Description Alfred A. Knopf, 2000. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0375410570
Book Description Alfred A. Knopf, 2000. Hardcover. Condition: New. 1 Amer ed. Seller Inventory # DADAX0375410570
Book Description Alfred A. Knopf, 2000. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110375410570