Targan's third story collection (Surviving Adverse Seasons; Harry Belten and the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto) consists of four sharp-edged portraits, along with two others that are too finicky and too intellectualized. Among the best here is the title story--about a man at loose ends (""if death was always waiting for us all. . .then death, wherever it was, was someplace else"") caught holding a bullfight in Texas. In his gypsy fashion, he takes his semi and his wife and heads lot California, but on the road he meets a man with a gun and a backpack full of cocaine and eventually kills him. ""Caveat Emptor"" concerns a young entrepreneur in Atlantic City, which has been converted to a military camp during WW II. The boy sells legally obtained sundries (Cokes, cigarettes) before moving on to more-questionable dealings under the direction of a low-rent mentor and casting an ever-wider net of corruption until he loses himself. In ""Dominion,"" a man ruined by his partner survives and gets involved with a fundamentalist--at first to dissuade his son from conversion, then for more enigmatic reasons. ""Old Light"" frames a grandmother's flashback to the Atlantic City of WW II again, where as a young artist she had an affair with a boat-builder committed to ""going on""; he's taken away by the war, but his memory remains a shining beacon. Meanwhile, ""Triage""--a dissertation on a young journeyman writer who goes skiing--is too neatly structured and concluded; and ""The Editor of A"" is a brittle, dry-boned meditation about a bloodless dictionary editor who must face his limitations. Targan has a habit of overwriting, working too much on stately syntax and not enough on character or emotional development, but the best of these fictions give good aesthetic and emotional weight.