Combustible Punch by Paul Michael Peters
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
At first glance, the premise of this novel seems unlikely, almost ludicrous. An adult, survivor of a high school shooting several years ago, "coincidentally" encounters a serial killer--a female serial killer, a sort of self-styled "avenging angel." What are the odds?!
But as I read on, the unfolding of these two unlikely adversaries made more and more sense. Rick Phillips, adjunct professor of writing at a prestigious Virginia university, author of one highly acclaimed book, eleven years ago. Harriet Bristol Wheeler, cold-eyed and cold-hearted, exhibitionist, always planning, 4 or 5 steps ahead of the opposition. Rick, feckless hero that he is, comes to see Harriet and the biography she demands he write, as his sole light in the darkness. This book will redeem him.
Their "acquaintance" bears all the hallmarks of an imminent train wreck. I can hear the brakes squeal, metal clamping against metal, whistle shrieking warning, passengers screaming. Yes, lucky Rick Phillips survived the angry predations of the shooter at his high school, but will he survive the machinations of the Machiavellian, Black-Widowish Harriet Bristol Wheeler?
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