The peaceful home life of two L.A. architects is brutally disrupted after they find their overnight guest, eccentric artist Tom Field, hanging from their neighbor's tree in Gadol's sad, chilling sixth novel. Is it suicide, murder or a prank gone seriously wrong? As LAPD's Detective Michaels investigates, the architects Rob Voight and his partner of 20 years, Carlo Stein, each nurse a secret. Carlo, who met Tom after a carjacking months earlier, had an affair with him that ended before Tom showed up at their office needing a phone. Rob retrieves Tom's address book without telling Carlo or Michaels, and begins calling Tom's contacts to inform them of his death and to learn more about him. Acts of vandalism aimed at Rob and Carlo contribute to the brooding sense of unease. While some readers may find the ending confusing, Gadol (Light at Dusk) scores points about the importance of truth in enduring relationships. (Aug.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
On the surface, Robbie and Carlo seem to have the perfect life, sharing a beautiful home and an architecture firm. Robbie is a dreamy optimist; Carlo is pragmatic and responsible. Their peace is shattered one night by a seemingly random crime, but they discover that the foundation of their relationship had been compromised by fault lines long before the attractive stranger named Tom appeared at their door. For the first time in 20 years, both men find themselves keeping secrets from each other and testing their respective roles in the relationship. Despite the intimations of violence, Gabol's sixth novel (after Light at Dusk) isn't a thriller but rather an exploration of how the fear of loneliness can restrict or damage lives, written in a leisurely, restrained literary style. VERDICT Fans of domestic novels will appreciate the finely drawn portrait of a long-term couple confronting the choices they have made in life, but readers may not be persuaded that Tom is as fascinating as everyone else in the book believes. [Tyrus Books is the new publishing venture of former Bleak House founding editor Benjamin LeRoy; this title was originally listed as a Bleak House publication.—Ed.]—Devon Thomas, DevIndexing, Chelsea, MI