FLIGHT by Dorf Fran


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Twenty years after a plunge from an upstate cliff near Woodstock, 40-ish Lana Paluka emerges from a catatonic state to deny that Ethan Skitt--the sullen boyfriend convicted of attempted murder--could have wanted to push her. Looking and sounding half her age, Lana insists that she flew off the cliff because she's not entirely human; certainly Ethan, with whom she claims an uncanny intimacy, would never have hurt her. She admits to her old school friend Jack Wells, now a Westchester reporter, that she doesn't remember what happened at High Exposure and that she won't be able to refute the eyewitness testimony given against Ethan years ago by Jack's twin, Alan Wells, and Randy Slessenger, another member of their clique. And it's too late to get Randy to recant: Ethan was convicted of his murder seven years ago, shortly after serving his time for pushing Lana. But Jack, spurred by a book contract, reopens the case even as he's getting the word that Ethan's just escaped from prison and is looking for Lana, who's been spending those past seven years in a high-priced hospital underwritten by Alan, now a wealthy and successful physician and investor positioning himself for Congress. Jack finds himself digging more dirt on his twin (and feeling more disgusted with himself) than he ever wanted--like the reason Alan was able to force smitten 15-year-old Lana to have sex with every member of the clique--but still can't answer the riddle of why Alan's been paying for Lana's care all these years, or what's happened to Ethan (now calling himself ""Priestman"") since he escaped. Most readers will be well ahead of Jack, but the inevitable climactic return to High Exposure still packs quite a punch. Overlong and overladen with flashbacks to the Sixties, but powerfully imagined throughout--a mostly successful stretch from the author of A Reasonable Madness (1990).

Pub Date: Aug. 13th, 1992
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Dutton