cover image Killer, Come Hither

Killer, Come Hither

Louis Begley. Doubleday/Talese, $25 (256p) ISBN 978-0-385-53914-2

Jack Dana, the narrator of this uneven crime novel from National Book Award–finalist Begley (About Schmidt), has it all. The “only child of a Harvard philosophy professor father and a flutist mother who played with a Boston-based chamber orchestra,” he sets aside his plans for an academic career after Sept. 11, 2001, and joins the Marines. Wounded in Afghanistan, he writes a successful novel about his wartime experiences while recuperating. Later, Dana’s beloved uncle, Harry, apparently kills himself in his Sag Harbor summer house. Harry’s white-shoe law firm says he was suffering from dementia, but Dana quickly discovers the truth—that Harry was murdered—and decides to find out who did it and why. The trail leads to a ruthless and crooked billionaire and involves some interesting sleuthing, but the implausibly noble, effortlessly successful Dana becomes tiresome. Begley provides a window into a world of great privilege, but he offers few thrills. Agent: Georges Borchardt, George Borchardt Inc. (Apr.)