Thompson leads readers on a twisted course through the Texas desert, only to stand the plot on its head again in the finale. The only constant is the steady revelation of the characters, who are shown in more and more depth with each exposure.
Rachel Copeland has come home to her remote Texas town to lick her wounds and rebuild her life. She was a photographer and teacher in Philadelphia, before a student stalked her until she had to shoot him in self-defense. The trial cleared her of charges but did not clear her name or stop the threats and harassing phone calls.
She hopes to find refuge in tiny Marfa, helping her father run his sailplane business. Then she takes a picture of Zeke Pike, a furniture maker, at work. The picture is great for his business, but Zeke doesn't appreciate the publicity. The attraction between them is electric, but accidents begin to happen, and Rachel is getting threatening phone calls again. Just what or who is the focus for this dark hostility? (Leisure, Aug., 352 pp., $7.99)