A “marvelously tense” novel of psychological suspense centered on a long-ago crime of passion, from an Edgar Award–winning author (Publishers Weekly, starred review).
With dreams of academic greatness, Lucas Paige rose from humble and sordid beginnings to attend Harvard. But his achievements since then have been meager. In St. Louis to give yet another sparsely attended reading, he discovers a face from the past he’s tried to forget: Lola Faye Gilroy, the “other woman” he long blamed for his father’s murder.
Reluctantly, Luke joins Lola Faye for a drink. As one drink turns into several, these two battered souls relive, from their different perspectives, the most searing experience of their lives. They are transported back to the tiny southern town of Glenville, Alabama, where a violent crime of passion is turned in the light once more. As it turns out, there is much Luke doesn’t know. And what he doesn’t know can hurt him.
Trapped in an increasingly intense exchange, Luke struggles to gain control and determine what Lola Faye is truly after—before it is too late.
This “darkly powerful” (Kirkus Reviews) literary thriller, rich with Southern atmosphere, is “a knockout” (People).
“Cook continues his work as one of the best fiction writers in America.” —The Plain Dealer
“In this tightly coiled, intellectual drama, Cook (The Chatham School Affair) unwinds a marvelously tense story of belated redemption. While in St. Louis for a book tour, Luke Paige, a middle-aged writer of lackluster histories, agrees to meet with a long-forgotten acquaintance, the ‘little hayseed tramp’ he believes triggered a bloody tragedy that befell his family decades earlier. The story alternates between Luke’s recollections of his hometown; the ‘heady ambition’ of the despicably cruel, contemptuous younger Luke, who wants to go to Harvard and gets swept up ‘in the lethal tide of [his] own grand dream’; and the numb, disillusioned academic who sits down for a drink with Lola Faye Gilroy. A vertiginous precipice eventually materializes in front of Luke, who must finally confront the true nature of his father’s heinous murder and its equally tragic aftermath. The younger Luke is without a doubt one of the more convincing modern villains, a single-minded overachiever devoured by raging oedipal loathing and equally consumed by narcissistic ambition.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
Thomas H. Cook was born in Fort Payne, Alabama. He has been nominated for an Edgar Award seven times in five different categories. Cook received the Best Novel Edgar, the Barry for Best Novel, and has been nominated for numerous other awards.