YOU CAN'T CATCH ME by Rosamond Smith

YOU CAN'T CATCH ME

KIRKUS REVIEW

 A courtly Richmond dilettante's visit to Philadelphia turns into a nightmare when he is mistaken--and mistaken, and mistaken- -for another man. As his train pulls into 30th Street station, a porter hands Tristram Heade his lost wallet. But it isn't his wallet, as he discovers after he checks into his hotel--not his usual hotel, but another one, where everyone greets him as Angus Markham, the name inside the wallet. Tristram can see a general resemblance between himself and the photo of Angus, but that's no reason why dewy Fleur Grunwald should turn up outside his door, announce that she's finally ready to take the advice he, Angus, gave her three years ago at Sarasota to leave her abusive husband. Trapped first by his fear of making a scene, then by solicitude toward Fleur, Tristram finds himself insensibly slipping into Angus Markham's identity, even as he realizes that Fleur herself has an alter ego named Zoe, whose words and actions bespeak a worldly knowledge and a thirst for revenge far beyond Fleur's experience. When Tristram goes to have it out with Fleur's maligned husband, Otto Grunwald, Otto calmly denies every one of Zoe's impassioned charges. Otto tells Tristram that not only does he not forcibly tattoo Fleur, as she claims he does, but that the tattoos that so horrified Tristram are fakes, vegetable oil rather than ink, applied by Fleur herself. Tormented by indecision about whom to believe, Tristram returns to the Grunwald home determined to prove or disprove Fleur's story once and for all--but he hasn't counted on the extent to which he's been charmed out of himself, not by Fleur, but by Angus Markham, and by the glass eye that seems to have been watching him ever since he picked it up outside Fleur's apartment. With echoes of Poe and Henry James, Smith (Snake Eyes, 1991, etc.) gives this anecdotal tale a shivery intensity. (Book-of- the-Month Club/Quality Paperback Book Club alternate selections)

Pub Date: March 13th, 1995
ISBN: 0-525-93947-4
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: Dutton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 1995




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