Monday, September 27, 2010

Mr. Peanut by Adam Ross

David Pepin loved his wife. He also loved fantasizing about her death. When his wife dies - from eating a peanut and then having a severe allergic reaction (that was known to her) - the police discover that he was writing a novel based on their marriage that incorporated a number of these fantasies. He becomes their prime suspect as they sift through his lies, her lies, and their odd behaviour. But nothing is as simple as it seems, and the two detectives involved also must confront demons from their past (and present) in order to make sense of this very strange case.

I was expecting this book to be a straightforward mystery/thriller/drama, about a man suspected of murdering his wife. I was not prepared for what it actually was, which was not only the life of David Pepin, but also the fictional (within the story) life of David Pepin, his wife, Detective Hastroll, and Detective Sheppard (who is the Sam Sheppard, accused of killing his wife and inspiration for The Fugitive), and a hit man named Mobius. It's twisty, confusing, and rewards patience and close reading. The women in these stories don't come off that well, as it's told from primarily male perspectives, and that makes it stand out against the "marriage is a ticket to happily-ever-after" line that so many other stories hold up. I finished the novel and I was confused, but it made me want to read more about Sam Sheppard and watch more Hitchcock movies.

Find it at IndieBound.

Read it with:
Unless by Carol Shields
Alfred Hitchcock: A Life in Darkness and Light by Patrick McGilligan
The Wrong Man by James Neff

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