Thursday, February 19, 2009

Security-Stephen Amidon

Stephen Amidon
FSG, Feb 2009, $25.00
ISBN: 9780374257118

In Stoneleigh, Massachusetts Edward Inman runs a security company while married to Alderman Meg. He and Meg know their relationship is loveless, but she will never let him go as long as she runs for public office; which she is as she tries to become town mayor. In fact, Edward loves his former girlfriend Kathryn recently divorced; they are having a heated affair.

Meanwhile college student Mary Steckl accuses wealthy Doyle Cutler of sexual abuse. The police and most townsfolk assume she is full of BS and is probably protecting her widower alcoholic father Walter from some drunken rage of his in which he injured her shoulder. Walt thinks immediately rape through his alcoholic haze. However, one person witnessed what happened to Mary at the Cutler mansion, but Kathryn's brooding nineteen year old son Conor has his own issues and so far is silent except with Doyle.

This is an interesting small-town saga with an ensemble cast including other prime participants not mentioned above like Angela the student who is also at Cutler mansion. The two major subplots of what happened to Mary and the affair between Edward and Kathryn never merge; in fact the latter just sort of vanishes without closure while the former ends violently but somehow without closure too. Fans of morality plays that border on soap opera (as everyone in Stoneleigh seems overwhelmingly loaded with angst) will appreciate this gloomy glimpse at the power of money to make people dance the affluent piper’s tune.

Harriet Klausner

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