Bodies Electric

Bodies Electric

4.3 3
by Colin Harrison
     
 

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Jack Whitman is a powerful executive with a massive multimedia conglomerate. He is extremely well-paid, highly ambitious, and desperately lonely since his wife's murder. Then one night on a subway car, his eyes meet those of a woman he cannot forget.

Dolores Salcines is a ravaged beauty on the knife edge of despair--a woman on the run with secrets, and good… See more details below

Overview

Jack Whitman is a powerful executive with a massive multimedia conglomerate. He is extremely well-paid, highly ambitious, and desperately lonely since his wife's murder. Then one night on a subway car, his eyes meet those of a woman he cannot forget.

Dolores Salcines is a ravaged beauty on the knife edge of despair--a woman on the run with secrets, and good reason to hide them. What she needs is a savior--an impulsive rescue form a dire past. What she has found is a man willing to give it to her.

It begins as a reckless liaison. It spirals into a nightmare that threatens Jack's career, his fortune, and his life. A trap has been set. For Jack, the only chance at escape is to submit to the one final dangerous urge that resides in the dark side of every human heart.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
When the behind-your-back world of a Manhattan executive collides with the in-your-face-reality of a battered Brooklyn woman, the result is a taut, nerve-wracking drama. Jack Whitman's rosy future in a Time Warner- type media conglomerate turns into workaholic obsession when his pregnant wife is gunned down by random crossfire. Grief-driven, Jacks zooms along the fast track, becoming a major player in his boss's plan to wrest control of ``the Corporation'' from the company's chairman by completing a multinational merger without notifying the board. A chance subway encounter with Dolores Salcines--a Dominican mother hiding with her four-year-old daughter, Maria, from her violent husband, Hector--drives his loneliness home. Moved by her plight--and her beauty--he offers Dolores a job and a temporary safe house at a friend's empty loft. But Hector finds them; they narrowly escape and end up in Jack's house in Park Slope. Now tragedy is in store, stalking Jack at work as the internecine war escalates and at home as Hector closes in. Only one incident at this point may dismay readers, who will find it contrived. Otherwise, Harrison ( Break and Enter ) has written a beautifully balanced thriller in which high-tech corporate power struggles are contrasted with the incendiary passion for family shared by Jack, who finally has everything, and Hector, who has lost it all. $100,000 ad/promo. (May)
Library Journal
This is a hard-boiled detective novel without the detective. Harrison has a feel for the rhythm of New York, just as Dashiell Hammett had for San Francisco. The plot, told from the perspective of corporate businessman Jack Whitman, oozes sex, blood, and greed. At first, the reader feels sorry for Whitman when he is pulled into a corporate coup d'etat and is caught up in a dangerous love affair after the brutal murder of his pregnant wife. Later, however, it becomes apparent that Whitman is a metaphor for the greed of our era with his amoral ability to use money and people interchangeably. He tries to reconstruct his family by taking in a down-and-out woman and her daughter, while using corporate might to hold the estranged father at arm's length. Meanwhile, he is a point-man for an internal takeover in a multinational corporation. One could feel sorry for Whitman when his life collapses, but the forces that destroy him are cut from the same cloth as he is. The beauty of this book is in the characters' depth. An editor at Harper's magazine, Harrison is author of Break and Enter (Crown, 1990). Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 1/93.-- Randall L. Schroeder, Augustana Coll. Lib., Rock Island, Ill.
Donna Seaman
Harrison's debut, "Break and Enter" , was praised to the skies; his second deserves the same acclaim. This shrewdly paced, emotionally resonant tale pairs corporate intrigue with impossible love. Jack Whitman, a descendant of the poet Walt, lives alone in a half-renovated Brooklyn brownstone. His big plans for its transformation died with his pregnant wife when she became the archetypal innocent victim of a drive-by shooting. Numb with grief, Jack throws himself into his job at the Corporation, a media giant with tentacles in cable TV, movies, publishing, music, and theme parks. A major power play is in the works, and Jack is in the middle, slinking down to Chinatown to collect stolen faxes from a crafty hacker one minute, accompanying the elderly but still ruthless CEO to the most exclusive bordello in America the next. Meanwhile, he becomes obsessed with a woman he sees on the subway. Of Spanish descent, Dolores is exquisite and her young daughter charming in spite of their obvious poverty and air of desperation. Jack impulsively hands Dolores his business card, thrusting himself into the tragedy and chaos of her life. A fresh and masterly dramatization of the brutality of the city and the misuse of power in the bedroom as well as the boardroom.
Kirkus Reviews
Harrison (Break and Enter, 1990) returns with the story of a 35-year-old widower who takes in a fleeing wife and her four-year- old daughter—at the same time that he's fighting for survival at the top of a communications conglomerate. Jack Whitman's rise to the near-top of a Time-Warneresque corporation was swift and well-rewarded. His personal life was equally successful until his pregnant wife was shot and killed by a drug dealer aiming at nearby rivals. Alone in his big Park Slope brownstone, Whitman now nurses his reflux-ravaged esophagus through the night, and protects his career from attacks on all sides during the day. His company is poised to merge with a German-Japanese conglomerate, an alliance that may take Jack to corporate nirvana or put him on the street. Taking the subway home one night, he meets a beautiful but exhausted woman who, with her little daughter, may be homeless—and after several days, a very tentative Dolores and her much less tentative daughter Maria enter his life. Dolores, a Dominican, has fled her Puerto Rican husband—she's not looking for a relationship, she just needs to stay off the streets. But Jack is clearly and powerfully attracted to her. When the husband picks up Dolores' trail and begins to threaten Jack, Jack hides her and the girl in his house, where she begins to carve out a home for the three of them. Meanwhile, Jack's professional life gets more and more frightening. He's been assigned the suicidal task of convincing the corporation's powerful chairman of the wisdom and inevitability of the megamerger, and the chairman is quite as dangerous as the maniacally vengeful husband.... Intelligent and totally absorbing. What mighthave been a routine corporate-basher becomes, in the hands of the very skillful, wisely observant, and profoundly moral author, a novel to remember. Walt Whitman haunts the story throughout and to great effect. (First printing of 60,000)

From the Publisher
"Thrilling...extraordinary."—The New York Times

"Passionate...taut."—Booklist

"Striking...engaging."—The Washington Post Book World

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780517584910
Publisher:
Crown Publishing Group
Publication date:
04/28/1993
Pages:
385

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