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From Publishers Weekly
A bored housewife befriends a man who could be a fugitive murderer in this perplexing and clunky debut novel. (Lawson edited the anthology Posterity: Letters of Great Americans to Their Children.) A Bowdoin-educated Bristol, Mass., native, Kate Colter never really gelled with the locals after moving with her paleontologist husband, George, and daughter, Clara, to Hayden, Wyo., George's hometown. So she spends a lot of time on the phone talking to her aunt back in Boston and observing the rituals of the American West (rodeos, parades, "Omaha Steak parties"). When she meets her mother-in-law's new boyfriend, the charming, rugged and well-read Tom Baxter, they become fast friends. But a series of coincidences leads her to suspect that Tom is actually on-the-lam Boston gangster Whitey Bulger. Lawson, the daughter of historian David McCullough, intimately understands her protagonist's displaced easterner ennui, but Kate's listlessness becomes a dulling centerpiece (a cordless phone's dying battery is prominent), and nothing happens for swaths of pages at a time. Suspense builds slowly toward an abrupt climax. Indeed, action does come to Hayden, but it takes its time getting there. (May)
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