Nora Michaelson and her eleven-year-old son, Jason. are going through a difficult adjustment to life after the accidental death of Jason's father. at a time when the family's small business was failing. The loss of Jack Michaelson has left his wife and son nearly destitute. It has also placed their lives in jeopardy. This is a story of terror, and resourcefulness in the face of terror, from a master storyteller.
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An 11-year-old boy and his recently widowed mother face dangers both internal and external in Richard Bausch's bloody but psychologically acute thriller. After a freak bus accident leaves Jack Michaelson dead and his family destitute, Nora and Jason Michaelson just barely scrape by. When their black neighbor Edward Bishop offers to drop in on Jason each afternoon, Nora is grateful--until Bishop finds a series of increasingly frightening hate letters stuffed into his mailbox, signed by an organization calling itself the Virginia Front. "Watch your step with the white woman," they warn, and, "The woman & her son will burn with you." When two strangers break into Bishop's home, hog-tie, beat, and murder him, it's only natural that the police go looking for racists. Meanwhile, the real culprits go looking for Nora and Jason Michaelson.
Jack Michaelson was, as it turns out, a man of many secrets, and Nora and Jason's kidnappers expose them one by one. Even the villains here are fully fleshed out, their demons rivaled only by those of loneliness, family dysfunction, and greed. But make no mistake: this may be a "literary" thriller, but it's also a very scary one. The author of critically acclaimed short fiction and novels, including the comic gem Good Evening Mr. & Mrs. America, and All the Ships at Sea, Bausch proves himself here as adept at building narrative tension and suspense. The characters don't always have the depth--or the appealing quirkiness--of those in Bausch's previous work, but what this novel lacks for in subtlety, it makes up for in sheer ominous power.About the Author:
Richard Bausch is the author of nine other novels and seven volumes of short stories. His work has appeared in the New Yorker, the Atlantic Monthly, Esquire, Playboy, GQ, Harper's Magazine, and other publications, and has been featured in numerous best-of collections, including the O. Henry Awards' Best American Short Stories and New Stories from the South. In 2004 he won the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short Story.
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