FOG HEART by Thomas Tessier


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 Easily Tessier's best novel yet (Secret Strangers, 1993, etc.), a restrained account of a girl/woman with a wild talent for seeing into the beyond. Oliver, a fabric salesman and rare-stamp collector, and his wife, Carrie, have a problem: Carrie keeps having brief visions of her long-dead father sitting naked in the kitchen or elsewhere and trying to say something to her that seems to begin with ``Oliver.'' Charley, an academic specializing in Lord Dunsany, and Jan also have a problem: They're beleaguered by guilty memories of their daughter Fiona, who died in her crib during a housefire that started in the nursery. The two women, who have never met, become intensely preoccupied by their outrÇ feelings, although both husbands are essentially disbelievers in the spirit world. When the two couples hear of an outstanding young psychic up in Westport, Connecticut, each make appointments with her. Oona, the young psychic, and Roz, whom she introduces as her half-sister, give compelling performances for each couple, persuading the women that their visions and fears are genuine, though the husbands remain skeptics. In fact, neither husband is quite what he seems at first. Both are adulterers. Oliver, for instance, is involved in some particularly shady business and, as the story progresses, he spends more and more time in Europe, firming up a new cloth he and a kinky German woman inventor/dominatrix are about to put on the market. At last, Oona invites both couples to visit her at the same time, which, she says, will increase the voltage of her performance--and it does, with deadly if appropriate results. Strong dialogue and a refusal to rely on bizarre occurrences to move the story along lend distinction to what might otherwise be a run-of-the-morgue horror novel.

Pub Date: Feb. 9th, 1998
ISBN: 0-312-18098-5
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 1998


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