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 by Peter Abrahams X
Oblivion by Peter Abrahams
  • 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 lawyer licked his lips. "Third remark?"

"The defendant also said, 'I enjoyed every minute of it.' "

Before the lawyer could respond, Ty Canning, a rich young man whose manner had been impeccable throughout the trial, shouted, "The fuck I did," and pounded his fist on the table. A vein throbbed in his neck and his face swelled and reddened, the effect phallic, out of control, dangerous: one of those electric courtroom moments that happened mostly in stories. The butterfly woman recoiled. The judge banged her gavel. The marshals moved in.

There were no further questions. Petrov stepped down. One of the marshals gave him a discreet pat on the back on the way out.


The Santa Ana was blowing, hot and dry. Petrov loved the heat, possibly some reaction to his birthplace, even though he'd left Russia at the age of two and had no memories of it. But crossing the parking lot outside the county courthouse, Petrov found himself thinking of a cooling swim. Friday afternoon, a few minutes after three. He'd been planning to spend the weekend at the lake -- why not leave now, arrive in daylight, maybe do a little fishing too? He had the car door open when a woman called, "Mr. Petrov?"

She was hurrying across the lot: mid-thirties, judging by her face, although her body looked ten years younger and her clothes—halter top and mid-thigh skirt -- belonged on a teenager. Her eyes were the anxious eyes of a prospective client.

"My name's Liza," she said. She came to a stop, rocking back slightly on her high heels. "Lisa, really, but Liza professionally. Liza Rummel. It's about Amanda."

"Who's she?"

Liza Rummel shook her head, a quick side-to-side, erasing and starting over. "I saw on Court TV you'd be testifying today. That's why I came down here."

"From where?"

"From where? Van Nuys. We've been living in Encino but now we're in Van Nuys. Amanda liked the old place much better, come to think of it -- I wonder if that's a factor."

"In what?"

"Amanda's disappearance, Mr. Petrov, the reason I'm here. That's your specialty, right? Missing children?"

"Missing persons in general," Petrov said. "Is Amanda your daughter?"

"She's a good kid, despite everything."

Petrov took that for a yes. "What kind of everything?" he said.

"Normal teenage rebellion, I guess you'd say. She'll be sixteen in November. The twenty-third." Her eyes teared up a little.

"She was born on Thanksgiving."

"How long has she been missing?"

"Three days and two nights."

"When did you last see her?"

"Actually see her? Tuesday morning. She'd gone to sleep by the time I got home."

"When was that?"

"About four, four-thirty."

"Wednesday morning?"

She looked him in the eye. "Correct."

"Did you check her room?"

"No. But her breakfast dishes were on the table when I got up."

"Did you call the police?"

"Wednesday night, when she didn't come home. But you know the cops. They think she's just another runaway. Turn up again when she gets hungry."

"Has she disappeared before?"

"Sort of. But this time I'm really worried."

"What's different?"

"I've got a bad feeling."

A bad feeling. Petrov searched for signs of it on her face. Years ago, just starting out, he'd sketched and labeled ninety-three facial expressions. Anxiety, number sixty-one, was what he saw now. Dread, absent from her face, was sixty-eight. "Why?" he said.

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!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Treeborne
    Treeborne
    by Caleb Johnson
    The Treeborne family has lived on The Seven – the local sobriquet for a seven-acre stretch of ...
  • Book Jacket
    Grace
    by Paul Lynch
    Harrowing. Gorgeous. Epic. Grace, Paul Lynch's coming of age novel about a young woman, is set ...
  • Book Jacket: The Perfectionists
    The Perfectionists
    by Simon Winchester
    We seek precision in our lives every day. We want to drive from home to work and work to home safely...
  • Book Jacket: Beauty in the Broken Places
    Beauty in the Broken Places
    by Allison Pataki
    Ernest Hemingway wrote that we are "strong at the broken places," and Allison Pataki found that to ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Twelve-Mile Straight by Eleanor Henderson

An audacious American epic set in rural Georgia during the years of the Depression and Prohibition.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Summer Wives
    by Beatriz Williams

    An electrifying postwar fable of love, class, power and redemption set on an island off the New England coast.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Clock Dance
    by Anne Tyler

    A delightful novel of one woman's transformative journey, from the best-selling and Pulitzer Prize-winning writer.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win A Place for Us

A Place For Us

A deeply moving story of love, identity and belonging--the first novel from Sarah Jessica Parker's new imprint.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

H, W H A Problem

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.