Richard Moore The Investigator

ISBN 13: 9780934257770

The Investigator

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Madness leads Archibald Bromley, the middle-aged son of a long-dead neurosurgeon, to contemplate the murder of the brother and sister with whom he lives

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From Kirkus Reviews:

A shadowy nerve-twanger--with darkly comic overtones--that follows the bizarre march of logic in the extravagantly inventive mind of a paranoid schizophrenic (or is he?) as he beavers on toward homicide. In a handsome old suburb in New England live the well-to-do offspring of a long-deceased neurosurgeon: staid Edward, good- looking Clara, and Archibald Bromley. All three are single and middle-aged, and Clara and Edward are most respectable, while Archie--``jobless, sexless'' and suspender-less (he has trouble keeping his pants up)--is, in the neighbors' view, ``breathtakingly peculiar.'' Archie becomes more than simply ``peculiar,'' however, when an angry tirade from an old acquaintance sets his demons astir and he knows he's ``in danger of some kind.'' Nothing, he decides, is what it seems; house and home could be an illusion. Stage- managed by whom? His siblings! And why? Because their cherishing love of their hapless little brother is a front to hide years of incest! But Archie is on the prowl for truth, and he must find proof. It doesn't take long, of course, for Edward and Clara to begin to ``have a vague feeling that [Archie] had become somehow dangerous.'' Before the marvelous ironic close, and Archie's preparation for his ``last independent act,'' there'll be a mad gala of epistemological inner dialogue, a post-poetry-reading party--at which Archie explains for an involved audience why he must kill his siblings--and a brief hour or so of romance. Other pratfalls (and pantfalls) occur between moments of fury and despair. An unusual and haunting first novel, both wryly removed and yet close to the bone. -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Publishers Weekly:

From the start of this self-conscious debut novel it's obvious that protagonist Archibald Bromley is going to cross the thin line from eccentricity into madness. An aimless, middle-aged loner, he still lives with his older, unmarried brother and sister in the expensive New England house their father, a successful neurosurgeon, built in the '20s. Archibald, it seems, had been a lovable, high-spirited teenager, but something started to go seriously wrong in high school, and after a stint in the Army he returned home for good. His days are spent puttering around the property, his old pants constantly about to fall off, his neuroses limited to plots to do in the neighbors' dog. Suddenly Archibald takes it into his head that his brother and sister are lovers. He spies on them, gathering "incontestable proof" that will justify sending them to the fiery death he has planned. Archibald's brief fling with a toothpaste heiress is an odd, rather jolting break from his grim obsession with his siblings. Poet Moore's ( The Education of a Mouse ) bitter commentary on the "poor little rich kid" syndrome which afflicts many of his characters relies on the skimpiest of plots; accordingly, this seems more a sketch than a novel.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Moore, Richard
Published by Story Line Press 1899-12-30 (1899)
ISBN 10: 0934257779 ISBN 13: 9780934257770
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