William Morrow/ Harper Collins Publishers, $25.99, 292 pages, ISBN 978-0-06-226749-8
Have you ever known someone who was so infatuated with another person, so head-over-heels and goofy in love that they would do anything—endure any hardship or humiliation—just to be around that other person . . . even when they knew beforehand that they’d be taken advantage of, or victimized . . . One. More. Time?
The Girl with a Clock for a Heart, by Peter Swanson is about just such a person—and the Femme Fatale who suddenly reappears in his life, years and years after breaking his heart and leaving him in the lurch. His name is George Foss. He’s an ordinary, average . . . many would say dull . . . forty-year old employee of a literary magazine in Boston. Life is slowly passing him by and George is perfectly comfortable with it, and just doesn’t care. He’s unmarried, stuck in place in his job and content spending most evenings in a neighborhood bar talking about the Red Sox baseball team, the ordinary things in his boring life and obsessing about a woman named Liana Decter, who he loved and lost twenty-some years earlier, when she left college for winter break and disappeared . . . mixed up in and possibly wanted for a murder. George follows her from Massachusetts to Florida, where he loses her, after finding that she has assumed the identity of another woman. George goes home, but never forgets her . . . until she walks back into his life twenty years later, asking for his help. She’s trouble. George knows she’s trouble, but can’t resist her appeal. She tells him that she’s being chased by a couple of bad guys—thugs who want to do her harm. George’s quiet life disappears in a flash as he’s sucked into a morass of lies, betrayal and murder that he’s powerless to resist. This novel will have you squirming in your seat as the intensity ratchets up with every page as the suspense tightens, and it leads to an electrifying conclusion that will have you wishing for more.