Nicholas Evans was a screenwriter and film producer before writing his first novel, the phenomenal number one bestseller The Horse Whisperer, which has sold more than ten million copies worldwide since its publication in 1995. It is now also a Hollywood film, starring and directed by Robert Redford. He is also the author of The Loop and The Smoke Jumper. Nicholas Evans lives in Devon and London.
The latest offering from the mega-bestselling author of The Horse Whisperer involves a fractured family coming to terms with the dissolution of a marriage, and a death. When a young woman is found embedded in the ice of a Montana mountain creek, the police quickly discover that she is Abbie Cooper, long missing and long wanted by the FBI for murder and eco-terrorist activities. How she came to be there and her descent from "golden child" of a privileged New York family to one of the FBI's most wanted is a mystery that isn't fully solved until the last pages of the novel. Told alternately by various members of the Cooper family, the story is both tragic and redemptive. As with Evans's other novels, the landscape figures as prominently as the characters, though at times the descriptions are slightly overwritten and preachy. Nonetheless, this is an engaging story that Evans's fans will want to read. Recommended for public libraries and popular reading collections. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 5/1/05.]-Leslie Madden, Georgia Inst. of Technology, Atlanta Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
This fourth novel lacks the power and intensity of Evans's third, The Horse Whisperer (1995), and it's not nearly as carefully written. A pretty, upper-middle-class girl is discovered frozen in Montana ice and is soon identified as Abbie Cooper, wanted for murder by the FBI. After a promising beginning that introduces a colorful cast of Montana locals, Evans breaks off and flashes back to Abbie's upbringing in suburban New York, and centers the book on Abbie's now-divorced parents, Ben and Sarah. Evans follows the Coopers' high-end careers and estrangement from their domestic lives in meticulous, mind-numbing detail; their separation propels the already idealistic Abbie into the arms of Rolf, a shadowy eco-terrorist. As Abbie's Patty Hearst-like adventures in the eco-underworld slowly unfold, Ben takes up with Sante Fe-based artist Eve, and Sarah is left alone with son Josh, who emerges late in the novel as an improbable principal. Compelling minor characters like Sheriff Charlie Riggs and besieged ranchers Ray and Martha Hawkins are largely wasted. All winds down to a sadder, wiser, relatively reconciled ending that conforms to the norms of family drama, and of romance. The most vivid thing in the book is the wrangling early on over Abbie's remains. 500,000 first printing. Author tour. (Sept. 27) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.