Author: Jonathan Carroll
Original language: English
Publisher: Doubleday Publishing, NY, 1998
FROM THE PUBLISHER
Bestselling author Sam Bayer is stuck. Burned out from his third divorce, bored with the formulaic rut his writing has fallen into, and unable to deliver the manuscript for which he has been paid a stratospheric advance, he is desperate for inspiration. But a chance visit to his hometown of Crane’s View, New York, sparks his imagination. Soon he immerses himself in an unsolved case of murder that took place when he was a teenager – Sam himself had discovered the body of the victim, a beautiful and wild teenage girl named Pauline. At the same time he is drawn into an explosive affair with a gorgeous but seriously loopy fan with the improbable name of Veronica Lake. As Sam learns the disturbing facts about his lover’s past, Pauline’s murderer reappears – not only endangering Sam but putting his beloved fifteen-year-old daughter in jeopardy as well. Not knowing whom to trust, Sam has to brace himself for the truly unexpected resolution to this decades-old mystery.
FROM THE CRITICS. Library Journal:
Popular fiction writer Sam Bayer is in a slump, without a single idea for his next book, and both his publisher and his agent are breathing down his neck. On a whim, he visits his boyhood hometown, a small place in New York, and encounters an idea for a nonfiction workhe will write about the murder of Pauline Ostrova, whose body he discovered floating in the Hudson when he was a high school boy. When he shares the idea with an intriguing woman, a fan of his, improbably named Veronica Lake, he unleashes a series of events that bring the old murder back into the open, setting off the killer again. Carroll’s (Panic Hand, LJ 12/96) book is strung like a piano wire whose surprising final note only sounds on the last page. Stephen King has aptly compared Carroll to Alfred Hitchcock. This novel is sure to find a wide audience and will be in demand by Carroll’s rabid fans. Recommended.David Dodd, Santa Cruz Cty. Lib. Sys., Cal.