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Library Journal★ 09/01/2013
Stone's latest novel takes place on the campus of an elite college in Connecticut. The dark-haired girl of the title is Maud Stack—beautiful, talented, and hopelessly in love with her married professor, Steven Brookman, with whom she has been having an affair. His newly pregnant wife and daughter are returning from an extended trip, and Steven is looking to extricate himself from the affair and renew his connection with his family. As their relationship crumbles, Maud begins drinking heavily, makes a scene in the street, and is killed by a hit-and-run driver. The question of whether her death was accidental leads to the police becoming involved, even as Maud's father, Eddie Stack, a retired police officer in New York City, begins an unofficial investigation. The novel builds to a confrontation between the father, in failing health, and the professor, who feels remorse but is prepared to defend himself and his family. VERDICT Stone (Dog Soldiers; Damascus Gate) is a major literary figure, and this novel is readable, tense, and stimulating. Vivid scenes with razor-sharp dialog are plentiful; a powerful work. [See Prepub Alert, 5/13/13.]—James Coan, SUNY at Oneonta Lib.