Lights Out

Peter Abrahams, Author Mysterious Press $21.95 (336p) ISBN 978-0-89296-482-6
The author of The Fury of Rachel Monette here creates a fascinating and memorable character in Eddie Nye, a young man who spends 15 years in jail for a crime he didn't commit. After he is finally released, Eddie quickly discovers that a strange meeting with an incarcerated drug kingpin on his last day in prison has somehow enmeshed him in an intricate and dangerous plot. Seeking out his older brother, a Wall Street ``investment consultant'' who deserted him while he was behind bars, Eddie uncovers a pattern of betrayal reaching all the way back to the day the Coast Guard arrested him on account of a cache of shipboard drugs he knew nothing about. Eddie, who became an avid reader while in jail and is particularly fascinated by ``The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,'' asks everyone he meets in the course of his suspenseful investigation why they think the old sailor killed the albatross and why he suffered so as a result--as with his own case, the punishment seems out of proportion to the crime in Eddie's eyes. A fateful decision to try and help his brother out of overwhelming financial troubles leads to the discovery of some awful secrets and to personal disaster for Eddie. Abrahams spares the reader nothing, in gritty dialogue and often gruesome detail. Consistently interesting and suspenseful, his thriller's shocking outcome is revealed only on the very last page. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/28/1994
Release date: 03/01/1994
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