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“I want to meet you tonight, and if you don’t show up, I can’t promise your family will be safe for very long. I’ll be in touch, remember, don’t go to the cops, don’t tell your family. I’ve got plans for you.”
Newspaper columnist Daniel Caruso has a wife he loves deeply, a daughter who means everything to him, and a secret that could destroy them. At a conference in Seattle, he meets and spends a passionate night with Stephen Hart, a handsome firefighter. Awakening alone and deeply conflicted, Daniel flies home to Providence, R.I., but on a layover in Chicago he receives a bizarre and frightening message indicating that someone knows of his deception. At home with his family, the serenity of a weekend morning is shattered by the arrival of a second message: a gruesome package, the contents of which make clear that Stephen Hart has been murdered. The messages increase in regularity, filled with chilling details about Daniel’s activity and making it clear that the killer knows every move he and his family make. His desperation to shield his wife and daughter from the truth is replaced by fear for their safety, as the killer becomes puppet master, dragging Daniel deeper into a netherworld of bathhouses and S-and-M bars where the killer stalks him openly. Journalist Gary Zebrun’s debut novel is a nerve-shattering thriller of psychological terror, sexual obsession, and the devastating price of secrecy.
Gary Zebrun is the editor of The Providence Journal. A graduate of Brown University, he is the recipient of a Yaddo fellowship, a MacDowell fellowship and a Breadloaf fellowship. He previously taught creative -writing at the University of Michigan before moving to Newport, R.I., where he now lives.
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Gary Zebrun is the editor of The Providence Journal. A graduate of Brown University, he is the recipient of a Yaddo fellowship, a MacDowell fellowship, and a Breadloaf fellowship, and previously taught creative writing at the University of Michigan beforeFrom Publishers Weekly:
In his uneven mystery debut, Zebrun successfully captures the angst of a closeted gay man, torn between the wife and teenage daughter he doesn't want to hurt and his desire for other men. Providence newspaper columnist Daniel Caruso has a big problem: the men he has sex with, starting with a firefighter he meets on a business trip to Seattle, tend to end up dead and mutilated, victims of a sadistic killer with an uncanny ability to track Dan's every move. The author doesn't explain the passive Dan's sudden urge to have gay sex at every opportunity, but his risky, compulsive behavior does serve to ratchet up the tension. Readers will sigh with relief when Dan finally turns for help to a police detective friend with whom he once had a homosexual encounter and he sends his family to safety in Florida. After a lengthy interlude at an S&M bar in Manhattan's meat-packing district ("They were thinking of the sting of ropes and the bite of whips"), the story lurches to a rushed, open-ended climax at an abandoned Woonsocket boathouse. A small suspect pool, perfunctory police work, a few important questions left unanswered (did the firefighter have AIDS or not?) and a serial killer who too easily commits his crimes and eludes detection all make for a less than satisfying thriller/whodunit.
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Book Description Alyson Books, 2004. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M1555838383