MLA Gold Award Site

Excerpt from Oblivion by Peter Abrahams, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Oblivion

by Peter Abrahams

Oblivion
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Apr 2005, 352 pages
    Paperback:
    Apr 2006, 384 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


"The other times were after we had a fight or something. This is for no good reason."

"What kind of fights?" Petrov said.

"The usual—homework, curfew, smoking."

"Physical fights?"

"Oh, no." Liza Rummel put her hand to her breast, the gesture innocent, the breast heavy; both somewhat artificial.

"What have you done to find her?"

"Besides calling the police? Everything I could think of—driving around, checking with the school."

In Petrov's experience, most people could think of more. He watched her. Was there something familiar about her, around the mouth, perhaps? She had full, shapely lips, mobile and expressive.

"Have we met somewhere?" he said.

"No. I'd of remembered meeting you." He knew what was coming next. "From the movie," she said.

The movie: ten years old now, and not a real movie in Petrov's eyes, just a TV movie-of-the-week, The Reasoner Case, Armand Assante starring as Nick Petrov; here, riding a tiny wave of hype, and gone. Was there another town in the whole country where anyone would remember? But this was L.A.

"Have you got a picture of Amanda?"

Liza Rummel flipped open her wallet. "This was at the Empty Box concert in July."

Petrov took the photo of Amanda. Face, mouth, eyes: a little lost already, the runaway look. Finding them, returning them, hardly ever changed it. Hardly ever, but not never. "Empty Box is a band?"

"She thinks they're God."

"What kind of music?"

"You know. Hard to describe."

Petrov liked the name of the band; he was also drawn to that age discrepancy between Liza Rummel's face and body, one of those human fault lines he had trouble staying away from. But the truth was he'd never turned down a case that involved a child. "I'll need to see her room," he said.

"Meaning you'll help?" Excitement lit her eyes, got washed over almost at once by worry. "I don't have a lot of money." Liza fumbled in her bag. "Here's fifty bucks. Is that okay to start?" She placed it on his palm, folded his hand around the money, squeezed it in both of hers. Her hands were hot and wet; the money hot and wet too. A big motorcycle cop watched from the other side of the parking lot, sunlight glinting on his blond mustache.

"My retainer is five hundred dollars," Petrov said. "After that, it's three hundred a day plus any special expenses like air travel, which I always clear with the client first."

"Oh," she said, letting go of his hand.

"Maybe you should try the police again," Petrov said. "I'll give you the name of someone good."

"Do you take checks?" Liza Rummel said.

Petrov took a check for four hundred and fifty dollars. He walked Liza to her car, an old baby blue Mustang convertible, dented on the outside, littered within, the ashtray full of red-tipped cigarette butts. Climbing in, she looked up and said, "Did you ever actually get to meet Armand Assante?"

"Once or twice."

"What's he like?"

Liza Rummel drove the baby blue Mustang in a way that said the car—in its ideal, brand-new form—was her. Petrov followed—110 to the 101—listening to a Jussi Bjoerling recital. A man in the audience—probably long dead, this was Paris, 1956—called out a request: "Nessun Dorma." Laughter followed. Petrov had often listened to the recording, but now for the first time picked out one woman quite clearly, her amusement and excitement, sexuality even, captured in digital form forever. He could almost see the pearls around her neck.

The foregoing is excerpted from Oblivion by Peter Abrahams. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced without written permission from HarperCollins Publishers, 10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Victoria
by Daisy Goodwin

"A hit…The research is impeccable, the attention to detail, perfect." - The Sunday Mirror (UK)

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Girl Before
    by JP Delaney

    An enthralling psychological thriller of duplicity, death, and deception.

    Read Member Reviews

Win this book!
Win No Man's Land

No Man's Land
by Simon Tolkien

Inspired by the experiences of his grandfather, J. R. R. Tolkien, during World War I.

Enter

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Ruler of the Night
    Ruler of the Night
    by David Morrell
    Amateur sleuth Thomas De Quincey is back in a mystery set in Victorian England. This time, he and ...
  • Book Jacket: A List of Cages
    A List of Cages
    by Robin Roe
    Robin Roe has written one helluva young adult debut novel. Alternating first person narratives by a ...
  • Book Jacket: Homesick for Another World
    Homesick for Another World
    by Ottessa Moshfegh
    The frizzy, freaky, funky, and frazzled all pile on in this much anticipated short story collection ...

Word Play

Solve this clue:

H W S W T Devil S H A L S

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.