Thursday, February 22, 2018

Book Review: 'Behind The Broken Glass' by Vernon Rush

Florida author Vernon Rush began life in Washington, moved into the military and now lives in Florida, the location from which he creates his stories - in the case of BEHIND THE BROKEN GLASS, a grisly well constructed mystery that is as much a character study of people whose lives are demarcated with secrets and mixed perceptions. He makes that work for him in creating this creepy twisted tale.

Rush opens this his seventh novel with an atmospheric psychological curtain opener - the kind of Prologue written so well that the seeds of the story to come are all well planted. Detect the many facets in the following:’ She sat expressionless in front of the tube, as her mother called it back in those days. Being the only child and all, she had to entertain herself in any way possible. She hated her mother; for reasons she kept deep inside her, everything made her think badly of her. She didn’t care about the old movie she was watching—she couldn’t even remember the plot. She only cared about the one quote. It occupied her mind, drew her in: “I can have anything I want; do you know anything about being a girl? You can just never give up. You take every single little defeat and twist it around and around and around until it turns into one great big victory.” At that point she got up, turned off the television, and left.’

And from this entrance he opens the door to Chapter One and gives the downbeat for the story: ‘Having nailed just about everything they could think of that wouldn’t get their butts whooped if hit, Vance was suddenly struck with total brilliance; there was one target in the neighborhood they hadn’t yet hit with the ball. There was an unkempt house at the very end of the street. No one was ever home. Well, no grownup. A scraggly girl peering through the windows could be seen from time to time. But no one in the neighborhood ever saw her, except for when school was in. It wasn’t, so the house sat empty at end of the street—where civilization ended and a deep, thick forest burst from the earth. “Let’s go throw this at Caton’s,” Vance said, holding the baseball.’ They tie in is a bit of writing genius!

Briefly the storyline is as follows: ‘Public defender Vance Riley has changed his job, the city he lives in and the bed he sleeps in, all in a futile effort to avoid his feelings about the fact that his wife is dead. Murdered. He wanted to escape his marriage, but not this way. Now he feels guilt, not grief. When his sweet but estranged wife is found dead, Vance moves to San Diego, about as far away from his old resident as possible, and runs smack dab into a girl from his childhood past. Nora Caton is a high-powered lawyer, exquisitely beautiful and erotically wild. She’s never forgotten that Vance helped her once many years ago. Now she’s there for Vance in his time of need. Vance remains under the scrutiny of a San Jose detective investigating the murder when an unexpected witness is discovered. It’s Vance’s new hot love interest Nora who helps shift the guilt of the murder where it belongs. But will Nora save the day or send Vance’s long-desired happy ending eventually come crashing down on him?’

Mystery, intrigue, and a lot of fine steamy erotica push this book into a highly recommended reading zone! Grady Harp, October 15

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.