26 Sep

Two aging lovers piece together their youth in an attempt to solve a murder that each assumes the other committed. The telling takes place in alternating first person narratives as seen through the memory of the teller.

The story of Gerry’s life and subsequent demise vacillates between voices, and if you’re not paying attention you’ll miss the subtle nuances within the complexities that eventually bring this story to fruition. Paul writes his recollections, while Lucy records hers, and we, the readers, begin to piece together the mystery through the memories that are evolving.


THREE 1942

I’m not sure that this is such a good idea after all. Something funny’s happening – not to me, to Paul. He shows me what he’s written when he’s finished a chuck. I asked. Of course I was interested. But then he said he didn’t want to listen to what I’d been putting on these tapes. I was a bit miffed about that and said so, but he said he was sorry, but he was afraid it might ‘contaminate his own recollections.’ He feels that intense about it. And in the evening, when he puts his pen down, he just sits there as if he was in some kind of trance he had to swim slowly up out of, like divers in case they get the bends.

This is one of those books that must be re-read, as Dickinson assuredly is an acquired taste and most definitely not for the rookie. The writing, the voices, and the awareness of historical time and place is incredibly alive, and magically transports a seasoned reader.

I was drawn by these two friends, Paul and Lucy, and how one shared block-in-time can so easily unravel within the remembering  ———

Mysterious Press/a Time Warner Company

261 pages – First Edition 1994 / mystery fiction


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