Love Nest by Andrew Coburn

By Andrew Coburn

The ny instances stated of Andrew Coburn, “Natural storytellers are usually not too universal, yet Mr. Coburn is one.” And Publishers Weekly praised his earlier novel Sweetheart as “so sturdy that it's nearly criminal.” Love Nest, Andrew Coburn’s gripping new mystery, is bound to achieve an analogous serious acclaim.

The homicide of a tender and inviting prostitute is on the center of this compelling tale of small-town crime, corruption, and hope. In her short remain in Andover, Massachusetts, her allure and sweetness had touched the lives of the various town’s prime voters, no longer the least of whom is the investigator of her homicide, Sergeant Sonny Dawson. His tenacious look for the killer uncovers a netherworld of characters that shocks his sensibilities yet doesn't hose down his thirst to unravel the case.

The taut mental drama, the agonizingly suspenseful plot, and the deft prose that mark Andrew Coburn’s writing of affection Nest consolidate his stature and his fictional territory—the actual New England global he has staked out for himself. And in his portrait of a small New England city, Coburn unearths the sophistication and breadth of a such a lot proficient novelist.

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Example text

The shed, although tumbledown, is really rather handsome when looked at with a sympathetic eye, the wood of it weathered to a silky, silvery grey, like the handle of a well-worn implement, a spade, say, or a trusty axe. Old Brides-in-the-Bath would have caught that texture exactly, the quiet sheen and shimmer of it. Doodle deedle dee. Claire, my daughter, has written to ask how I am faring. Not well, I regret to say, bright Clarinda, not well at all. She does not telephone because I have warned her I will take no calls, even from her.

The waves were depositing a fringe of soiled yellow foam along the waterline. No sail marred the high horizon. I would not swim, no, not ever again. Someone has just walked over my grave. Someone. The name of the house is the Cedars, as of old. A bristling clump of those trees, monkey-brown with a tarry reek, their trunks nightmarishly tangled, still grows at the left side, facing across an untidy lawn to the big curved window of what used to be the living room but which Miss Vavasour prefers to call, in landladyese, the lounge.

I was too ambitious. She says she cannot get her fingers around the notes. Your mind, more like, I do not reply. Recreant, recreant thoughts. I wonder that she never married. She was beautiful, once, in her soulful way. Nowadays she wears her long grey hair, that formerly was so black, gathered into a tight loop behind her head and transpierced by two crossed pins as big as knitting needles, a style that is to my mind suggestive, wholly inappropriately, of the geisha-house. The Japanese note is continued in the kimono-like belted silk dressing-gown that she wears of a morning, the silk printed with a motif of brightly coloured birds and bamboo fronds.

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