MAN AND WIFE
Psychiatrist Cal Bradley is asked to work with 19-year-old Peter Blue, a quiet individual who nonetheless, in a burst of rage, struck his girlfriend, destroyed a church and attacked a police officer. Bradley finds Blue an enigmatic, challenging individual with hidden depths.
As Cal works with the youth, he believes he sees his beloved wife Marie talking with a strange man in the woods. When he asks Marie about this, she vehemently denies it. Still, Cal is disturbed, thinking that Marie may be keeping secrets. As he continues his analysis of Blue, he learns that hes somehow linked to the man he had seen with Marie. The connection is too much for Cal, who begins to pursue the link which, eventually, leads to a death and the destruction of his own beliefs.
There is a good deal of suspense in MAN AND WIFE but its all on a superficial level, as characterization falls far short of the mark. Blue, who is supposed to be a mystical character, seems more like a clod, while Cal Bradley, an educated, introspective man, acts naove beyond belief. As for Marie, she is almost devoid of personality and as such, the reader doesnt care about any of her secrets. (Available now, 299 pp., $24.95)