A struggling author is sure that writer’s block is the worst thing that can go wrong in a novelist’s life. Not so.
After publishing two novels to good reviews, Deke Kane seemed to be headed for success. But two years after the tragic accident that killed his young son, Deke’s teaching at an inconsequential college, unable to put a meaningful word on paper, unable to stay sober and deeply involved in a love affair that has no future. At this rock-bottom point, he suddenly realizes that someone is inexplicably out to get him. A series of young men have been found floating in Long Island’s Shinnecock Bay, and circumstantial evidence tells a disquieting story. A bloody shirt is planted in Deke’s apartment, and mysterious periods of stupor render him unable to account for critical segments of time. Clearly, Deke has an enemy who is sinister, shrewd and implacable. But Deke also has friends, and though he’s not sure he deserves them, they rally round. On a wintry beach, with “the hiss of the ocean and the roar of the wind” as backdrop, friend and foe battle for Deke’s salvation.
Hang on through the long and tedious lead-up to the dark and deeply hidden revelation, which in itself is not easy to swallow, and be grateful that Judson (The Bone Orchard, not reviewed) writes much better than he plots.