This is a hard-boiled detective novel without the detective. Harrison has a feel for the rhythm of New York, just as Dashiell Hammett had for San Francisco. The plot, told from the perspective of corporate businessman Jack Whitman, oozes sex, blood, and greed. At first, the reader feels sorry for Whitman when he is pulled into a corporate coup d'etat and is caught up in a dangerous love affair after the brutal murder of his pregnant wife. Later, however, it becomes apparent that Whitman is a metaphor for the greed of our era with his amoral ability to use money and people interchangeably. He tries to reconstruct his family by taking in a down-and-out woman and her daughter, while using corporate might to hold the estranged father at arm's length. Meanwhile, he is a point-man for an internal takeover in a multinational corporation. One could feel sorry for Whitman when his life collapses, but the forces that destroy him are cut from the same cloth as he is. The beauty of this book is in the characters' depth. An editor at Harper's magazine, Harrison is author of Break and Enter (Crown, 1990). Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 1/93.-- Randall L. Schroeder, Augustana Coll. Lib., Rock Island, Ill.
This deft corporate thriller depicts an affair between a widowed business mogul and a young mother stalked by her estranged husband. (Aug.)