Our Front Table, below, features short reviews each month:
THE ONE STEVE JUSTICE “It sounds terrible.” A professor has sex with his student. He denies he’s a monster, a rapist or a paedophile. His pupils are adult women, “ free in their choices.” Set in Seoul, with hints of Lolita, this is an attempt at self-justification by someone who refers offhandedly to “the wife.” Chilling; hypnotically compelling.
WOUNDED BEN BURGESS JR. A married woman is outed after lesbian sex. The narrator knows the type. She has dealt with them hundreds of times. She enjoys “converting breeders.” Yet she is no monster, pursuing only those who make her “gaydar go off.” What is her story? And where will she go next? Intriguing.
BITTER SWEET MASON N. FORBES A call –girl narrates. She is worldly wise, dismissing a prospective client by phone, an admirer listening. Another call. Her next client? No, someone strange and “way too freaky.” He’ll call again. Uneasy, she hopes he won’t. Now she is alone, trying to forget the weird caller. We empathise, and anticipate.
HERALD SQUARE JEFFERSON FLANDERS New York post 1945. The woman works in a resettlement centre for displaced persons. She is phoned. It’s payback time for past help given. She must meet someone. She panics, contemplates flight, but decides it’s more prudent to find out what they want. Who, why, what and where?
WINTER SOON MICHAEL MARTIN 1973. Three friends from New Jersey travel to Maine on a fishing expedition, journeying first in Hoxie’s 1962 Chevy pickup. It’s thrilling, novel, Hoxie a free spirit reminding the others, suits, of what they have forgotten. But spring has come late to Maine. Echoes of “Deliverance.” What lies in store?
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