Patricia Carlon Unquiet Night

ISBN 13: 9781569472132

Unquiet Night

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9781569472132: Unquiet Night
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Nine-year-old Ann and her Aunt Rachel are the only witnesses who can connect Mart to the girl he strangled at a nature reserve, so he begins to stalk them, sending a wave of terror through the inhabitants of a small Australian town. Reprint.

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Review:

This taut, suspenseful thriller packs a wallop into a slim volume. When Martin Deeford, a lonely, emotionally stunted store clerk with a history of violence, picks up Rose Gault, a free-spirited young woman waiting for a bus on a rainy Sunday afternoon, he knows she isn't really waiting for a bus. And when he offers her a ride, she doesn't really expect to be escorted home, so she doesn't protest when he takes her to an isolated lakeside nature reserve. But he isn't interested in Rose's willingly proffered sexual favors; he only wants to talk. When she begins taunting him, he strangles her, pushes her body into the lake, and walks away, certain that his crime has gone unnoticed. But as he leaves, he encounters a woman walking in the reserve with a child he assumes is her daughter. His subsequent efforts to find and silence the witness, who could lead the police to him, create a suspenseful game of cat and mouse. But the mouse--Rachel Penghill--has no idea that she's being stalked, and the cat--Mart himself--does not realize that he's already being sought by the police. Rose, who survived the attack on her life, has identified him to the authorities. Rachel is surprised but not alarmed when the man she saw at the reserve turns up at her jewelry store. And even when he locks her in her own vault, she assumes that burglary is his motive and that she will be freed in a matter of hours.

The narrative is energetically driven by the alternating perspectives of criminal and victim. Patricia Carlon's technique illuminates both Rachel's lonely, spinsterish existence, which all but ensures that no one will notice her disappearance until it's too late, and Mart's own insecurities and ineptness. A long way from a criminal mastermind, he may nevertheless be the agent of her destruction. This is a suitably creepy psychological thriller that maintains its suspense until the last sentence. Although the author all but ignores the exterior landscape (somewhere in Australia), she focuses brilliantly on the inner one. --Jane Adams

About the Author:

Patricia Carlon lives in Sydney. She has written fourteen crime novels; seven are now available in Soho Crime editions.

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