The book begins with the thoughtful and sometimes heartbreaking description of the downward spiral of a train conductor into homelessness, then crescendos into the thrilling tale of a couple being terrorized by this man who has begun to fixate on them. Just when you think this story is going somewhere, Blauner adds in a stereotyped Mafioso in the mix for some bizarre reason and this ultimately takes the story in a
completely uninteresting direction.
Overall, I believe the first half book is worth reading. Once mafia guy enters the picture - feel safe in closing the book and calling it a day.
The latter is no surprise coming from Blauner, whose finely textured and harrowing 1992 debut, Slow Motion Riot won that year's Edgar Allen Poe Award for Best First Novel. Blauner's books are as much about sociological observation as about thrills-and-chills. His keen journalist's eye and psychological insight make for terrifically pungent prose. Tricks of social perception amongst the characters make there be not one titular intruder in this book, but at least three as Jake, Phillip and John join in a dance that finds them accidentally and purposely stepping on each others' turf and toes.