After twenty-five years of working in the shadowy world of espionage Keith Landry is on his way home. Driving along the highway, humming a few bars of 'Homeward Bound', the twenty-five years' service he has given the US government are fast becoming a distant memory. He is safe. He is alone. And life has never felt sweeter as the signs for hometown Spencerville come into view. Keith Landry has promised himself no more violence, no more death. But a chance meeting with childhood sweetheart Annie Baxter makes it a promise he cannot keep. As passion is rekindled between them, jealousy flares. For Annie is married to a violent and sadistic bully: the man who runs Spencerville, Sheriff Baxter. And he won't tolerate any man near his wife. Especially Keith Landry.
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(176mm x 110mm x 33mm)
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
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US Kirkus Review »
A usually reliable and best-selling author (The General's Daughter, 1992, etc.) comes a-cropper with this tale of star-crossed lovers who finally meet again after a quarter century and then must deal with her psychotic husband, the sheriff and de facto dictator of their Ohio hometown. Such a story requires that the individuals involved seem likely to have held onto their youthful romance into middle age. When one, Keith Landry, is an ex-intelligence operative with the National Security Council, a man competent and experienced enough to have the president of the United States request his return to government service in the White House, such emotional gridlock seems pretty far-fetched. And when the other, Annie Prentis Baxter, has married the town psychopath and remained an apparently willing victim of her own stupid choice for more than 20 years, one must wonder what exactly it is about this woman that has kept Landry captivated. Readers are left to hope that DeMille's reputation for accomplished storytelling and the ability to create memorable characters will save the day. No such luck. This is pure (and unbelievable) melodrama with a stock cast: farmers who are almost actively unsophisticated (Landry's elderly aunt is absolutely baffled by a bottle of red wine), a kindly and understanding old preacher, the town drunk who is a Vietnam veteran and one of the sheriff's prime victims, and so forth. (There is a disdain for Middle America that ranges from implicit to overt throughout these pages.) Even those who fall outside the Spencerville paradigm, Landry's former high school pal and his wife, are cliches of another sort: unreconstructed '60s peaceniks: They turn out to have no real role to play in the story. Only Landry's ex-boss from Washington is even vaguely interesting (and his role is essentially that of deus ex machina). Some tension in the final pages, but too little, too late. Very disappointing. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Nelson DeMille
Nelson DeMille was born in New York City in 1943. He grew up on Long Island and graduated from Hofstra University with a degree of Political Science and History. After serving as an infantry officer in Vietnam, where he was decorated three times, DeMille worked as a journalist and short story writer. He wrote his first major novel, By the Rivers of Babylon, in 1978 and has gone on to write many other international bestsellers, with sales of over 55 million copies in 24 languages. He lives on Long Island.