The protagonist, Lawrence Miller, is himself an expat teaching gender studies at a small college located just outside New York City. He is a member of the sexual harassment committee which meets on a regular basis to walk that fine line between the sublime and the ridiculous of political correctness.
Miller's well-ordered life starts to disintegrate one day when he takes a book from the shelf in his office to find that the bookmark has been moved several pages although, as far as he knows, nobody has visited his office. An easily explained lapse of memory perhaps, but Miller decides he will discuss it with the therapist he has been seeing in Manhattan since his wife left him. He is shocked as he approaches her office to see the therapist walking towards him, but she turns off towards Central Park before he can speak to her and he then loses sight of her. When he arrives at her office, however, she is waiting for him as usual and assures him that she has not left her office; in fact, she is always with another patient before Miller's appointment.
So begins the disorientation of Lawrence Miller. He has his little obsessions, of course--he won't pick up the messages on his answering machine, for instance, in order to convince himself that while he was out his wife tried to call him. Still in love with her, he hopes that she will call and want to return to him. But this is just a game he plays, part of his very human nature. He is in no way the sort of man who is paranoid or imagines conspiracies, but the unexplained incidents seem to be increasing.
Miller tries to rationalize what is happening, but he can't help thinking, nor can we, that he has become the target of somebody who wishes him harm. And when a series of murders takes place, Miller begins to suspect that he is being set up to take the blame for these murders by a devious and diabolical mind.
Lawrence Miller struggles to loosen the hold his pursuers have on him, but the more he struggles the more he appears to be drowning. Try to sleep after reading his terrifying story. --Otto Penzler
Like one of the other reviewers of this book, I was also "left scratching my head"! I found that I was drawn in at the beginning but as the story wore on I was hoping... Read morePublished on April 19 2004 by Sarah Dimaria
It's hard to describe this book. The writing is terrific and the main character is disturbingly well described. However, I had a hard time finishing this book... Read morePublished on Aug. 21 2003 by ra2sky
This book is a piece of literature masquerading as a thriller. The mystery surrounds Lawrence Miller and his connections to the disappearance of several women to whom he finds... Read morePublished on June 26 2003 by Eugene
A beautifully crafted work that first captivates, then challenges the reader. I certainly plan to read it again. Read morePublished on June 13 2003 by Steven
Unfortunately, the person who recommended this book to me spilled the entire premise before I even cracked it open, so many suspicions I would have developed as I read the book I... Read morePublished on June 10 2003 by J. Gifford
Mr. Lasdun teaches creative writing. Sometimes that old adage, "Those who can, do; Those who cannot, teach." is true. Read morePublished on June 3 2003 by D. ABRAHAMSEN
I had high hopes for this novel when I first saw it, then read about it - from the inside flap: '(the book) opens with a man losing his place in a book, then deepens into a dark... Read morePublished on May 11 2003 by Larry L. Looney
I agree with the previous reviewer, in that I rated this book a 2 rather than a 1 due to the fine writing that kept my interest despite the fact that I could predict the outcome... Read morePublished on Jan. 14 2003