Tuesday, September 1, 2009
There's a lesson in this book.
Derek Cutter thinks he's got it made. His neighbors are going on vacation. He's going to hide in their home and when they're gone, this seventeen year old will have a place to party with his girlfriend, Penny.
Plans are made to be broken and the family, the Langley's, return home because Mrs. Langley, has become ill. Derek is still in the basement when he hears another car pull up. Suddenly, he hears gunshots as the newcomer kills the family.
Derek is ashamed of what he was planning and doesn't tell his father, Jim, what happened.
Jim and Derek have a business cutting lawns. One customer, Agnes Stockwell, had a computer she wasn't using and gave it to Derek. He and Adam Langley explored what was on the computer. He finds a pornographic novel and makes a copy.
After the Landley's are killed, Derek tells his father about the computer and the novel. When Jim begins reading the novel, he recognizes it as one written by his wife's boss, Conrad Chase. Jim also remembers that Stockwell's son committed suicide 10 years ago and that's when Conrad said he wrote the novel. Did he steal it?
The police have evidence of Derek being in Langley's home and arrest him. While he's jailed, Jim hires a man he's just met. The man, Drew, tells Jim that he just got out of jail for robbing a bank but Jim needs the help. Drew also tells Jim that while he was in jail, his teenage daughter died.
The plot has a number of twists as Jim is accusing Conrad of stealing the book, Derek is released when the police find the gun and it's the same weapon used in two other murders. Who could be behind these killings?
Barclay does another fine job with his story. There is a lesson that Barclay's told before about parents communicating with their children and being aware of what their children are up to. However, how parents can do this is unanswered.
There is good character development in Jim and Drew and the Mayor, Randall Finley, is the reincarnation of Burt Reynolds in the movie "Strip Tease".
Very enjoyable read, I recommend it.