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Peter Straub is the New York Times bestselling author of more than a dozen novels, most recently A Dark Matter. He has twice been awarded the Bram Stoker Award, for his novels Lost Boy Lost Girl and In the Night Room. He lives in New York City.
In a meaty tribute to mystery sub-genres, Straub ( Ghost Story ) serves up a coming-of-age tale, a country-manor murder mystery and a twisted knot of governmental corruption and cover-up. Ten-year-old Tom Pasmore, a rich resident of the Caribbean island of Mill Walk, is hit by a car and, in a near-death experience, sees visions of himself in the future. During his long recuperation, Tom reads mystery stories brought to him by Lamont von Heilitz, an eccentric neighbor, once a famous detective. Action resumes when Tom, now aged 17 and possessed of sharpened deductive skills, gives the police an anonymous tip to help them solve the murder of a government official's sister. Tom's tip backfires, motivating him to join Lamont in trying to solve a murder that took place 20 years earlier in the Wisconsin resort town where Mill Walk's privileged citizens spend their summers. That layered, complex case reveals a long history of corruption, leads to more murders, to realization of the meaning of Tom's early visions and his discovery of his true identity. While evocative of place and time (the early '60s) and peopled with memorable characters, the story tries to fit into too many subgenres to succeed completely at any one. $200,000 ad/promo. (Jan.)
"A dark, labyrinthian tale of murder and family relationships. . . . Mesmerizing." --Chicago Sun-Times "Sensational. . . . A terrific page-turner, superbly plotted, unforgettable characters." --Kansas City Star "Intriguing, immensely readable. . . . Engages the mind." --Washington Post Book World "The near perfect mystery. . . . Has everything a classic whodunit should. . . . Full of intricate, engrossing, flesh-and-blood suspects and heroes. . . . Unexpected curves and potholes. . . . The title says it all." --Milwaukee Sentinel "Murder, mayhem, mystery. . . . A complex and satisfying tale. . . . Compelling characters. . . . A pulse-pounding climax." --Cleveland Plain Dealer "A tightly woven-tale, crisply rendered, populated with well-drawn characters." --San Francisco Chronicle "Marvelous. . . . Enormously satisfying. . . . Unashamedly designed to fascinate." --Sacramento Bee "The best of Peter Straub's writing." --Houston Chronicle "The characters are outstanding. . . . They are the story, enshrouded by a nightmare that never lifts. Peter Straub takes bold risks and he succeeds." --San Jose Mercury News "Enomously entertaining and scary. . . . Rich, complex, dark, and tough to put down." --New York Daily News