After a narrow escape from a serial killer, small town reporter Alex Bernier is happy she has a safe story to coveran attempt by local preservationists to save the old Starlight Theater from the wrecking ball. Gabriel is the kind of town where the mayor wears Birkenstocks and somebodys always protesting something.

The story takes a lively bent when one of the people spearheading the drive is killed. No ones sure if the death is an accident or murder but when another preservationist also dies, it just doesnt seem like a coincidence.

Things take a bizarre turn when a skeleton is found in the old theatera beautiful, long forgotten starlet who vanished in 1926. With two modern deaths and an old killing to work on, Alexs safe, dull story turns out to be neither.

The combination of poignancy and humor in THE FOURTH WALL is very appealing. Saulnier casts a wry eye on the foibles of an ultra-liberal college town, and the Gen-X Alex is a witty, gutsy heroine. (Mar., 418 pp., $6.99)

Reviewed by: 
Toby Bromberg