POWER by Richard Martin Stern


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By the author of The Tower (half of that Inferno), Power is a quasi-mystery set on El Rancho del Norte--a gigantic ranch sprawling through two counties of New Mexico. The ranch, patched together over the past century by land barons of the Granger family, now belongs to two brothers, Tom and Will Granger. Tom, who's the business head, is unsure whether he wants to keep the ranch or go back East, and younger brother Will's bisexual wife, a depilated Lady Macbeth, manipulates Will into taking a pot shot at Tom. The ranch is the focus of startling rumors about radiation effects from an atomic power plant nearby: a Spanish girl has leukemia, fish are dying, and a strange man has been murdered. More violence erupts until someone dynamites the power plant, a hippie commune goes berserk, the Spanish townsmen are angered, and a fake bill for the state to buy the ranch is passed by the Assembly. As it happens, all this chicanery is being engineered by a billionaire whose low-grade coal will fall out of the market when the new energy plant is completed. Stem's dialogue gives a hard steel edge to Tom, but it all comes out hokum.

Pub Date: June 2nd, 1975
Publisher: McKay