Forge, Nov 2001, 24.95, 302 pp.
In New England, teenager Peter Blue loses control when he and his girlfriend Jenny Wilbur argue. Peter beats her up, steals a gun and money from the recycling center, and sets fire to a church. Police Chief Orrin Hunnicut arrests Peter, who is charged with arson, burglary, larceny, theft of a firearm, threatening a cop, and reckless endangerment. When Peter tries to hang himself in his cell, Father Fairfax asks highly respected psychiatrist Cal Bradley to evaluate the nineteen-year-old.
Cal lives a wonderful life loving his wife Marie and their two children, but he sees Peter as a fascinating look at the darker side of humanity. Cal quickly realizes that Peter is insanely enraged with a town visitor. Cal also notices his beloved spouse talking with this stranger in the nearby woods, but when he asks her about him, Marie lies to him. Cal begins to learn about Marie's past, which stuns him. Not long afterward, the stranger is found dead while Orrin struggles to uncover the identity of the killer.
MAN AND WIFE is an exciting thriller that works because the townsfolk seem real and Cal's first hand account allows a deep look inside his mind as readers see first hand his metamorphosis. Though a small town setting, the tale is fast-paced proving that global destruction is not the only background for the genre. As expected from Andrew Klavan, readers have a one sitting thriller that never slows down for even a paragraph.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner