A London Czech translator threatened by a rapist goes after her
tormentor with a vengeance - in this straight-suspense holiday from
Dunant's Hannah Wolfe detective stories (Under My Skin, 1995,
etc.). The false notes in Elizabeth Skvorecky's life begin so
quietly that she assumes she's imagining things - the Van Morrison
CD that's disappeared from her collection, the replacement CD that
vanishes from her disc player. Surely there's no reason for her
departed lover Tom, a classical music buff, to have helped himself
to music he despised. And Tom himself, though not above a
supercilious sneer when Lizzie calls to ask him to return his
housekey, ends up sending back the key, and a Van Morrison disk to
boot. But then somebody repeatedly breaks into her house, marking
his place with uncanny signatures - stacking up all her CDs in a
neat pile, setting the kitchen table for two, spattering the
manuscript she's been translating with ketchup - and leaving Lizzie
almost as confused as frightened. What's going on here? The
locksmith she calls to beef up her security respectfully suggests
she may be harboring a poltergeist; the local vicar she consults
talks about outbursts of suppressed emotion. Then, shortly after
Lizzie's responded to her importunate friends by pulling herself
away from the translating job long enough to restart her sex life,
she confronts her nemesis, a hammer-wielding rapist, face to face.
So far everything has been routine, if breathlessly so; but with
Lizzie's obligatory scene with the intruder, which she transforms
from rape to edgy seduction, Dunant strikes out into new territory,
as Lizzie declines to call the police on the departed attacker,
determining to hunt him down herself, and baiting a trap for him
with salaciously, subversively altered passages from her
translation, and with the promise of settling scores with her for
good. An unsettling, often chilling, portrait of a compulsive
predator and the woman who refuses to be his prey. (Kirkus Reviews)
A psychological thriller, in which a woman who has just finished a
long-term relationship finds her life being threatened by a series
of mysterious occurrences, which comes to a climax when she
realises she is being stalked.
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