THE INTRUDER by Peter Blauner


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 A memorably violent confrontation between a perfect New York family and a homeless man with nothing left to lose--and a lot more in common with the family than they'd like to think. Once John Gates had a family and job of his own. But after his daughter was run down before his eyes, he stopped taking his medication and lost his job as a subway motorman. Now, after a harrowingly detailed slide, he's on the streets as plain John G., seeing his daughter and ex-wife everywhere, most disturbingly in the face of Dana Schiff, the psychiatric social worker who interviews him at still another E.R. Convinced that Dana's really the wife he lost, he starts to haunt her, forlornly complaining to a priest that Dana's husband Jacob, a well-connected attorney, ``stole my life by moving the molecules around.'' But there's only so much harassment Jake and Dana can take, and after their initial complaint takes John G. off their street for only a day or two, Jake allows Philip Cardi, a local contractor, to talk him into some stronger countermeasures. When their fateful expedition to John G.'s home ground is over, a man will be dead, and Jake, at first counting on Philip to shield him, soon realizes that he's been set up. Philip is turning state's evidence; his old buddies in the D.A.'s office would love to burn him; an alarming rift has opened in his marriage (``The only thing he's ever held back from her. . . is the murder in his own heart''); and Blauner (Casino Moon, 1994, etc.) has pinned his hero's last hope for acquittal on somehow dredging up--and proving the sanity of--the very man he was trying to get certified and locked away. Uncomplicated, irresistible melodrama. Just try to tear yourself away from it long enough to cast the big-ticket movie. (First printing of 200,000; film rights to Mandalay)

Pub Date: June 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-684-81094-8
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 1996


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