Books by Newton Thornburg

EVE'S MEN by Newton Thornburg
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: April 1, 1998

A straight-arrow Chicago realtor falls victim to his brother's revenge scenarios—and his own response to his brother's lover—in this swift-moving, lightweight fantasy. Charley Poole is called out to Colorado Springs by Eve Sherman, his brother Brian's live-in. Brian can't come to the phone because he's in a holding cell after bulldozing the sets for Damian Jolly's production of Miss Colorado, the movie Brian felt sure was going to tarnish the memory of his relationship with late country-singing star Kim Sanders, a Miss Colorado runner-up who overdosed, with or without Brian's help, four years ago. Kissing his disapproving wife goodbye, Charley rushes out to Colorado Springs with a suitcase full of bail money, and then watches Brian spiral madly out of control, walking away from a restitution deal with the ill-named Jolly, and falling into bed with an Aspen snow bunny whose brother, pint-sized Oklahoma cowboy Chester Einhorn, has Brian-sized ideas about avenging his sister's dishonor—and an outsized weapon to back them up. Meanwhile, Eve, stung by Brian's flagrant seduction of one warm body after another, is disturbing Charley's series of phone calls home by snuggling ever closer to him. Will Charley be true to his slow-burning wife back in Chicago? And will he and Eve be able to rescue each other from the conflagration Brian seems to be planning for his own life? Thornburg (A Man's Game, 1996, etc.) keeps you guessing whether good-hearted Charley and Eve will have the happy ending you'd like or the catastrophe that closeness to Brian seems to guarantee. Apart from keeping the story moving, though, Thornburg doesn't seem to have much in mind; when Brian's house of cards comes clattering down, you may feel a little bewildered that you cared about his innocent accomplices. Read full book review >
A MAN'S GAME by Newton Thornburg
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 1, 1996

A Seattle dad goes deep in the hole to protect his daughter against the creep who's stalking her in this gripping, unconvincing suspenser. Jimbo Slade is every woman's worst nightmare—a part-time dealer and male prostitute who's been released after his previous arrest for assault only because the police lab lost samples taken from the victim. Now his attentions have fastened on sweet, shy Kathy Baird. Jimbo's oblique threats to Kathy aren't enough for an arrest warrant, but they're enough for a restraining order- -which he sedulously complies with by stalking her from 101 feet away and breaking into her family's house to steal some photos of her and vandalize her teddy bear. What's a father to do? When Jack Baird confronts Slade, he's amazed to hear the stalker suggest they have a few drinks together and shoot the breeze so that Baird will see that Slade's not the kind of guy Kathy thinks he is. But if Slade's suggestion is unbelievable, it pales beside Baird's reaction a few days later: He takes Slade up on his offer, telling Slade first that if he gets to know Baird as a friend, he'll leave his daughter alone, but then pretending to confess that he's always wondered about the unbridled fantasies of sexual humiliation Slade's living out. This cat-and-mouse game of Thornburg's (The Lion at the Door, 1990, etc.)—Baird planning to catch Slade in the act and turn him in, Slade going along with him until he can kill him—may seem to be the heart of the novel, but it's only one more stage in a story that will embroil Baird, tired of his cool, handsome wife, with an attractive police detective before dragging him through the section of hell reserved for loving fathers. An offbeat mixture of psycho-stalking and midlife crisis that's most likely to appeal to fans of the late Patricia Highsmith—though they'll miss her gift for making improbable twists seem inevitable. Read full book review >