A BOOK REVIEW BY ALEX GRANT
Author- Amy Gutman
Little, Brown and Company
/May 2003 -@ $32.95 CAN.
Gutmans second psychological thriller THE ANNIVERSARY gets off
to rocky start - too many ill-defined female characters whose interrelationships
are impenetrable- -then develops into a genuinely ingenious and intricate
serial murderer mystery. The mass-murderer Stephen Gage is already dead
and gone but the appalling trail of grief and resentment that he has
left behind continues to haunt his former girlfriend Callie Thayer.
Callie is a single-mother and recovering alcoholic living the good life
in a small town in Massachusetts, She became financially independent
from her collaboration with true-crime author Diane Massey whose book
on Stephen Gage became a best-seller. Both women fear that they are
being stalked five years after the killers execution, as does
lawyer Melanie White who failed to win Gages appeal case. Who
on earth could still hold a grudge against these three?
Author Gutman teases out her principal suspects motives with finesse
leaving us guessing until the very last moment, and we can forgive her
a few contrivances such as the peculiar misconduct of her policeman
lover, Ric,k who comes to a last-minute rescue. Most unprofessional
of him and overprotective.
Yet to successfully engage the reader in yet another serial-murderer
mystery at a time when the field is saturated with such bloody tomes
is truly a considerable and admirable accomplishment.
© Alex Grant June May 2003
all rights reserved