Robert Stones remarkable new novel is a psychological thriller of razor-sharp intensity: mysterious, erotic, and deeply readable. Michael Ahearn, a professor at a rural college, sheds his comfortable assumptions when he becomes obsessed with a new faculty member from the Caribbean, Lara Purcell. An expert in Third World politics, Lara is seductive, dangerous and in thrall, she claims, to a voodoo spirit who has taken possession of her soul. Impassioned and determined, Michael pursues Lara to her native island of St. Trinity, heedless of the political upheaval there. Together they desperately attempt to reclaim all that Lara has lost. Yet island intrigue ensnares them. Lara sacrifices herself to ritual and superstition. Michael is caught unawares in a high-stakes smuggling scheme. In his feverish state of mind, the world becomes an ever-shifting phantasmagoria. He is, himself, possessed. In Bay of Souls, readers will recognize the trademarks of Stones greatest fiction: the American embroiled in Third World corruption, the diplomats and covert operatives, the idealists and opportunists. Yet here the authors sights are set inward, to a place where politics is superfluous, experience unreliable. Never before has Stone probed so powerfully the psychological depths of one mans mind. What he finds there defies expectations.
By gad, sir," Michael Ahearn said to his son, Paul, "you present a distressing spectacle."
A few nights earlier they had watched The Maltese Falcon together. Paul, who had never seen it before, was delighted by his fathers rendering of Sydney Greenstreet. Sometimes he would even try doing Greenstreet himself.
"By gad, sir!"
Pauls attempts at movie voices were not subtle but commanded inflections normally beyond the comic repertory of a twelve-year-old boy from a small town on the northern plains. His voice and manner were coming to resemble his fathers.
The boy was lying in bed with a copy of The Hobbit open across his counterpane. This time he was not amused at Michaels old-movie impressions. He looked up with resentment, his beautiful long-lashed eyes angry. Michael easily met the reproach there. He took any opportunity to look at his son. There was something new every day, a different ray, an unexpected facet reflected in the ...
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Richly layered, emotionally compelling, and peopled by a vivid cast of supporting characters - including Alex Delaware himself in a strong cameo role - this gripping novel represents one of the century's great story-tellers at the top of his form.
'Hambly's brilliantly crafted eighth historical brings the antebellum South so alive you could swear the author traveled back in time to observe her settings firsthand. This riveting novel of suspense is sure to win Hambly many new fans.'
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