One of White’s smartest novels....Don’t miss this last mile of a deeply satisfying ride.”—Bookreporter.com
“Underscores what a superb writer White is. He’s not just good at plotting, the crux of a fine mystery, but he infuses the story with pathos and sorrow as well as humor.”—The Denver Post
“Engrossing...[a] shocking finale.”—Publishers Weekly
At the start of bestseller White’s engrossing 20th and final novel featuring Boulder, Colo., psychologist Alan Gregory (after 2012’s Line of Fire), Gregory gives evasive answers to his new, inexperienced therapist, Delilah Travis, when she asks him about witnessing Diane, his professional partner and best friend, shooting his wife Lauren, an attorney. Meanwhile, Boulder cop Sam Purdy, another friend of Gregory’s, may be leaving him at the mercy of a vindictive Boulder County DA, who is Lauren’s boss and who considers Gregory a suspect in three murders. The shocking finale confirms White’s central metaphor, drawn from the local story of tightrope walker Ivy Baldwin, who frequently crossed a half-mile canyon on a wire without a net and sometimes at night: life for the tormented psychologist is a fearful balancing act, where the only absolute is his desire to protect his children. He may survive, but at what cost to his soul? Agent: Robert Barnett, Williams & Connolly. (Aug.)
Psychologist Dr. Alan Gregory is back for one last outing, and this time he's the one on the couch. Reeling from a shooting (Line of Fire) that has left his wife in a coma, White's beloved, flawed protagonist is also coming to terms with potential betrayal from his most trusted friend and trying desperately to maintain his own sanity with the help of his own personal psychiatrist, Dr. Lila Travis. What he can't (or won't) tell her may be the biggest obstacle to healing, but that can wait. First, he has to solve the mystery of the motive behind the shooting and clear his own name from the list of suspects in the attempted murder of his wife, Lauren.
Verdict White ends his epic series that spanned 20 separate novels and 22 years with a satisfying conclusion. Most of the series titles can be read as stand-alone novels, but this one is a continuation of Line of Fire (2012), and probably should be read first. Due to the popularity of the series, demand will be high.Cynthia Price, Francis Marion Univ., Lib., Florence, SC
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Dr. Alan Gregory's 20th brush with crime is his last. Ever since White announced on the publication of Line of Fire (2012) that he was wrapping up the Boulder psychologist's caseload, it's been clear that the series would go out with a bang rather than a whimper. Fans who read that last installment will recall that Alan's ex-patient Michael McClelland, now doing time for murder, had sent a proxy killer to Boulder; Alan's partner, Diane Estevez, had shot his wife, prosecutor Lauren Crowder, in the back; and Alan had traced Diane's husband Raoul, a wealthy venture capitalist, to a dark, far-reaching conspiracy. All these problems are compounded by a pair of excavations. One of these is literal: A demolition worker finds a .38 caliber handgun suspended inside the chimney of a house he's been knocking down. The other is metaphorical: Alan begins a series of sessions with inexperienced Dr. Delilah Travis, whom he's chosen specifically because she's one of the few therapists in the area he doesn't know. What mainly emerges from both the investigation and the sessions that follow are the epic difficulties Alan's had in trusting any of the most important people in his life: his late wife; his old partner; his new therapist; his longtime friend, Boulder detective Sam Purdy; and his attorney and former patient, Kirsten Lord. By the time the kitchen-sink plot has linked Lauren's office to cover-ups involving everything from a 12-year-old shooting to Osama bin Laden's nephew, readers will be convinced that every citizen in Boulder has put in hours on Alan's couch. This entire final installment, in fact, is structured like a marathon therapy session, with all parties constantly hinting at buried revelations that are only gradually brought to light. Fans sad to see the saga end will be enthralled by its daring crescendos; newcomers are likely to find the proceedings impenetrable.