Mr. Rice does not live up to his name with this book. Even the most predictable of his mother's stories could still be gripping and intense. As for this book, I found myself completely disinterested in the highly dislikable characters from about a quarter of the way through. The beginning is fairly interesting, though is ultimately a set-up for what is possibly the lamest motive motive for homicide I've read in several years. Then our lovely duckies fuddle around a college campus for a while, visit several other key, dull areas, sexual overtones intensify, and the story comes to its predictable, threadbare close after far too many pages that seemed merely filler. I am impressed by the fact that so many previous reviewers enjoyed it.
A good thriller, to me, is edgy and provocative enough to leave its reader feeling slightly uncomfortable and pushed to a personal limit, in just the way we as an audience enjoy. This book took many cheap shots to achieve that end, usually with its homosexual themes. Homoeroticism admittedly has a time-honored place in arts and literature (a topic this book superficially explores with its college professor character), but there are several scenes that read more like third-rate porn than literature. I would call these cheap shots, thrilling some readers while making others squirm. But as I wrote before, lots of people seemed to enjoy the book. I wouldn't call it the most boring book I've read, but I would say it makes for a predictable and generally unpleasant read.