by Russell Hill
Hard Case Crime
Due 27 Feb 07
Jack Stone is a sixty year old, divorced
Maggie is an earthy woman, wife and mother, also trapped in a life she abhors. Her husband, Robbie, is a sheep farmer barely making ends meet, which is why they rent out the spare bedroom as a Bed & Breakfast operation. Their ten year old son, Terry, is a precocious lad that Jack takes to immediately. What he doesn’t foresee is how he easily he becomes obsessed with Maggie.
Maggie is a forceful, sexual creature that soon poisons Jack’s every waking second until he is obsessed with her like the tide with the shore. In classic noir fiction, people get sucked into dark deeds almost as if against their will. The passions of the heart overrule the intellect until they are lost in a maze of evil. Jack Stone is a good man who finds himself in love with another man’s wife and will do anything to possess her. He is quickly ensnared in a deadly spider’s web of his own making.
Russell Hill writes deceptively simple first person prose that is froth with psychological complexities. All the while I was reading this book, I kept hoping that Jack would come to his senses and escape his doomed fate. The suspense never lessened until the very last page where the finale is a bitter, honest revelation. This book is a terrific crime thriller destined to become a classic in the genre. They just don’t get any better than this.