Tapes of the River Deltaby Robert Mickey
Trapped in the Turmoil of covert political corruption, Theo Shortcourse finally commits the vengeful murder that has been preordained since his early childhood. Now running for his life - hiding out in a vast river delta deep in Ireland - Theo reveals, on the spools of a hand-held tape recorder, the strange and chilling history that has brought him as a fugitive to… See more details below
Trapped in the Turmoil of covert political corruption, Theo Shortcourse finally commits the vengeful murder that has been preordained since his early childhood. Now running for his life - hiding out in a vast river delta deep in Ireland - Theo reveals, on the spools of a hand-held tape recorder, the strange and chilling history that has brought him as a fugitive to this place. Tapes of the River Delta cunningly ensnares us in the harrowing, though often darkly humorous fate of Theo, Bain Cross, his cousin and lifelong nemesis, and Theo's closest friend Pax Sheehy, who is the moral guardian to their generation. It is these three lives that become inextricably woven together in a tangled web of vicious ambition, death, dementia, sexual desire, and loss. Overshadowing it all is the haunting omnipresence of Sparrow, the woman Theo has always believed to be his mother and the victim of a buried crime so devastating that, even a generation later, no one dares to speak of it.
Sixtyish and desperate, Theo Shortcourse is hiding from the police in the river marshes near his childhood home, recording the brutal chronicle of his life on a tape recorder. Theo describes his rather idyllic childhood on the river with his best friend Pax and his nephew (though they're of the same age) Bain. Theo lives with his mother Sparrow in the grand house built by her father, Sammy Tea, while Bain lives with his drunken mother in a slum with Sparrow's long-estranged husband, Pa Shortcourse. Close as boys, the three choose very different paths in adulthood: Pax, the most moral of the three, joins the Guards while Theo, rejecting work in his father's sausage business, goes into a government post in Customs. Bain takes over Pa Shortcourses's butcher shop and begins grooming himself, with all the cunning wit of a street hustler, for a career in politics. Intermingled with Theo's narrative of these lives is the melodramatic history of his family, a record filled with incest, betrayal, and insanity. Pa Shortcourse, hailed as a hero in the Irish struggle for independence, is exposed as a liar and thief. Sammy Tea, Theo's grandfather, disappeared into a madhouse after impregnating his daughterresulting in the birth of Sparrow. The three old friends eventually find themselves locked in a lethal conflict. Bain, now prime minister, blackmails Theo to help him pass missiles intended for the IRA through customs. Pax, determined to expose them, is hot on their trail.
Though undeniable voyeuristic interest is created in the revelation of Shortcourse family secrets, the political aspect feels tacked on to support a narrative that tends toward the tedious and rambling.
- St. Martin's Press
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.84(w) x 8.84(h) x 1.19(d)
and post it to your social network
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews >