I read this novel when I became saturated with suspense thrillers and mysteries. I was pleasantly surprised. It almost came up to the standard of the review in the New Times Book Review which prompted me to read it.You will enjoy the prose once you get used to the writing style which uses no quotations - you must pay attention to wehther or not the characters are speaking or just thinking.
Begley writes beautifully; his prose is seemingly effortless, although I'm sure it took many drafts to make it seem that way. Schmidt is a compelling protagonist, and his story is artfully told -- at least until the final fifty pages or so. The ending is far too abrupt, and the loose ends are tied up so neatly (and so much in Schmidt's favor) as to be unbelievable. It's not simply a compliment to Begley's writing style to say I wanted the book to go on longer; the story itself demanded to be longer. A more