Title: The Dream of the Broken Horses
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: 2002
Book Condition: Fine
Dust Jacket Condition: As New
Signed: Signed by Author(s)
Edition: First Edition.
Signed by Author 0743403363 This hardcover book is Fine, being square and tight. The boards and spine have no wear with pristine lettering. The pages and endpages are clean, with no markings or folds. The dustjacket is As New, save minor shelf wear. Original Price is intact. Not ex-lib. No remainder mark. This copy is signed by the Author on the title page without inscription and dated 2/20/02 in his hand. Bookseller Inventory # 006991
Synopsis: "New York Times bestselling author William Bayer, described by Robert B. Parker as "a first-rate master of heart-pounding suspense," returns with this breathtaking, multilayered new tale of a twenty-five-year-old society murder and the many long shadows it still casts.
A man and a woman are making love....
One hot summer afternoon a quarter century ago, a wealthy socialite and her young lover, a private-school teacher, were gunned down in a cheap motel room on the outskirts of the Midwestern city of Calista. Now, forensic sketch artist David Weiss has returned to his hometown to cover a routine celebrity murder trial for ABC. For someone who has earned a reputation for cracking high-profile cases with his portraits of suspects based on eyewitness accounts, churning out courtroom sketches is merely pedestrian work. But Calista holds other attractions for David. First there are the welcome attentions of CNN reporter Pam Wells. Then there's the notoriously unsolved double murder at the Flamingo Court motel that has haunted him since boyhood.
Like his psychoanalyst father before him, David becomes obsessed with one of the Flamingo victims, Barbara Fulraine -- who was as fascinating as she was enigmatic -- and with the bizarre circle of friends, gangsters, columnists, and lovers who surrounded her. David's father believed that if he could unlock Barbara's troubling, recurring nightmare -- which she called "the dream of the broken horses" -- his solution would mark a watershed in his career. Now David, armed with old news clippings and police interviews, as well as an extraordinary psychological case study of Mrs. Fulraine recently discovered among his deceased father'seffects, seeks to use his highly honed professional skills to reassemble the face of her killer. But with each eyewitness interview and each fresh stroke of his pencil, David finds himself being hurled down a path of ever-darkening mystery, obsession, and dread.
One of our most elegant and commanding writers of psycho-erotic suspense, William Bayer has crafted a riveting, sharp-edged psychological thriller, perhaps his finest, most compelling work to date.
Review: Penzler Pick, March 2002: Among William Bayer's remarkable novels, many involve the sense of sight--the way in which we see things. Under the pseudonym David Hunt, for example, he wrote The Magician's Tale and Trick of Light, both of which feature a colorblind photographer. Now again using his own name, Bayer delves once more into the realm of the senses.
David Weiss, like his creator, is a talented courtroom sketch artist. David has returned to his hometown in the Midwest to cover the trial of a performance artist accused of killing her rock-star lover. The national media are there and soon David becomes involved with the female reporter for CNN. As fascinated as he is with the trial and with his new romance, it is an earlier murder in this town that he obsesses about. When David was a boy, the socialite mother of one of his school friends was gunned down in a motel room with her lover. Barbara Fulraine already had known tragedy when her daughter was abducted and murdered several years before. In addition, the young lover gunned down with her was David's tennis teacher. It is the stuff of young boys' fantasies.
But David has an even closer connection: His father, a therapist, was treating Barbara Fulraine for her depression when she was murdered. David's father felt he could help Mrs. Fulraine if only he could unlock her recurring nightmare, a dream about broken horses. But Barbara died before he could do it and, soon afterwards, David's father committed suicide. The gunman, although glimpsed by several people, was never identified.
As an adult, David realizes that he saw all these events through an impressionable boy's eyes. Now he wants to reexamine that case through his adult eyes and discover who gunned down that couple in the motel room. Using his father's notes and taking time out from the trial to interview people who lived in the town at the time, David sketches the memories he digs up until a picture begins to emerge, a picture that may well put David's life in danger if the murderer is still living in the town.
Bayer's talent as a writer and a storyteller is extraordinary. He manages to convey the media circus surrounding the current trial (which has a surprising outcome) with the quiet stillness of a story that has remained buried just beneath the surface of the town's history for many years. --Otto Penzler
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