Rules of the Knife Fight

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The third novel by the author of A Dime to Dance By is a powerful and gracefully written, cleverly structured story that displays his remarkable facility with dialogue and character. Although on one level this is a taut murder mystery, it is more an exploration of morality and circumstance, with astonishing surprises in store for the reader. Walker's central theme seems to be that despite everything, the truth will assert itself. The story is told from five points of view: Bobby O'Berry, a punk from Portshead, Mass., who is bullied into marriage by the brothers of his pregnant bride; attorney Chris Cage, who quits his job to defend his wealthy friends Leigh and Cathy Rossville in an unusual civil suit brought by Owen Carr, a hustling private detective who cleverly deduces the truth; and finally Roger Gifford, a judge whose job has left him estranged from his family. ``In litigation,'' Chris explains to Leigh, ``You have what actually happened, . . . what the witnesses say happened, and . . . what the jury decides happened. Now you tell me . . . which one's reality?'' This is compulsive reading. (October 8)
Library Journal
What begins as a straightforward narrative of a high-school boy trying to escape the responsibilities of fatherhood and forced marriage evolves into a complex story of a murder investigation and trial. Boston's Bobby O'Berry, the boy, turns up dead in San Francisco. Owen Carr, an aging and eccentric private investigator, pieces together most of a puzzle involving Leigh Rossville and wife, affluent San Franciscans, and a bizarre evening. Chris Cage, Rossville's friend, is his lawyer at an unusul trial presided over by Judge Roger Gifford. Each section of the book is from the viewpoint of one of the main characters, and the author uses this device effectively. The climax is a humdinger, and readers will finish the book realizing they've enjoyed a very different kind of reading experience. Recommended. Robert H. Donahugh, P.L., Youngstown and Mahoning Cty., Youngstown, Ohio
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060156466
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/1/1986
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Pages: 352

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