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A series of seemingly random murders along a fifty-mile stretch of the rugged northern California coast, committed by an unknown dubbed by the media the Coastline Killer. A young couple with marital problems, Shelby and Jay Macklin, who decide to spend the week between Christmas and New Year’s at a friend’s remote coastal cottage. Two couples in a neighboring home whose relationships are thick with festering menace. A fierce winter storm that leads to a night of unrelenting terror. These are the main ingredients in Bill Pronzini’s chilling and twist-filled tale about the hidden nature of crime and its motives.
We’re told that there are seven deadly sins; not on the list is the deadliest of them all: Betrayal. For each of the detectives at the agency, a betrayal becomes not only the driving force behind an investigation, but the source of the kind of resolve that cannot be derailed by threats.
Tamara’s case began as something personal but explodes as her investigation of her former lover leads to a scam that bilks charities in the name of helping the homeless and indigent. For Nameless, trying to find out who is gaslighting an old woman only exposes the ugly side of family. Runyon has a different difficulty: his case of a bail-jumper with some bad family ties is easy enough as these things go, but he’s being confronted by a demon that is going to try to force him into a betrayal…
(Bee Book Club, Dec. 15, Allen Pierleoni)
“I write about the issues I care about, and I know it’s a luxury to have an audience for that,” said author Richard North Patterson, sitting in the living room of his well-furnished home in San Francisco’s Marina district.
He added: “On the other hand, there’s a price to be paid for writing about controversial things – not everybody loves you for it.”
Patterson, 61, a former trial lawyer, has been a best- selling novelist for 28 years. He does not write “legal thrillers” in the sense that, say, a John Grisham or a Linda Fairstein does (both are close friends of his). Rather, he addresses major issues of national and/or global concern through a cast of characters who end up in courtrooms one way or another, further illuminating those issues.
Patterson’s themes have included women’s reproductive rights, gun violence, the death penalty, the Israeli- Palestinian conflict and presidential politics. (more…)