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The author of Bodies Electric and Break and Enter takes the classic noir novel and elevates it into a literary portrait of a soul divided. A columnist for a New York tabloid finds the precarious balance of his life threatened by a woman who comes out of the Manhattan night to lure him with a promise he can't resist--a chance to see even deeper into the dark night of the city he is compelled to know.
Porter Wren, a tabloid columnist specializing in the human face of death, has climbed to success in part by subverting a real talent for exposing corruption in the city. He has two precious kids, and is married to one of New York's best surgeons, but none of that seems to matter when a beautiful woman approaches him at a party. He finds her mesmerizing and the story she tells of her husband, an acclaimed filmmaker whose body turned up in a building being demolished and whose murder remains unsolved, fascinating. Porter wants more of the story and of her; the next day she takes him to bed, then opens a trunk of tapes her husband left behind, videos that are clandestine scenes of real life and death. Told by his publisher (a ruthless Australian with a worldwide publishing empire built on tabloids—sound familiar?) to retrieve one that he finds compromising, Porter courts disaster when he can't locate it. He does find a tape of an NYPD officer being murdered, a case also unsolved, but he no sooner informs a friend on the force about it than he's beaten and the tape stolen by the publishers' goons. When his toddler is wounded by another intruder on the Aussie's payroll, Porter retaliates, tracking down the material so feared by his boss. In the process, however, he learns his lover's secret too, with a glimpse into her black heart that both ends their affair and binds them uncomfortably together in a lethal conspiracy of silence.
Sordid stuff sure to tickle any voyeur's fancy, written with skill and considerable visceral force—even if occasionally straying beyond the credible.
"Sensational...intensely felt...amazing."—The New York Times Book Review
"A complex, absorbing thriller."—The San Diego Union-Tribune