known in his
Calif., community for his
Ide’s outstanding sequel
to 2016’s IQ.
wound in Isaiah’s life remains the hit-and-
run death eight years earlier of his older
brother, Marcus, which Isaiah witnessed.
His perseverance in seeking justice seems
to have paid off when he locates the car
that killed Marcus, but new evidence that
Marcus was deliberately targeted raises a
slew of troubling questions. The revelation comes just as Marcus’s girlfriend,
Sarita Van, reenters Isaiah’s life to request
help; her half-sister, Janine, a Vegas deejay,
has racked up gambling debts that can’t be
paid off. Since Isaiah still carries a torch for
Sarita, he agrees to help. Ide again makes
his hero’s deductive brilliance plausible,
while presenting an emotionally engaging
story that doesn’t shy away from presenting the bleakest aspects of humanity.
Agent: Esther Newberg, ICM. (Oct.)
Dirk Kurbjuweit, trans. from the German by
Imogen Taylor. Harper, $25.99 (272p)
At the start of German author
Kurbjuweit’s unsettling U.S. debut,
Randolph Tiefenthaler visits his unresponsive 77-year-old father, Hermann, in
an institution that at first appears to be a
care facility, but is in fact a prison.
Hermann is serving time for the shooting
death of Dieter Tiberius, Randolph’s
downstairs neighbor in Berlin. Randolph’s
narration shifts back in forth in time
between his “happy” childhood, when he
nevertheless feared being shot by his gun-loving father, and the recent past, when he
fears what Dieter may do to his family.
Dieter, initially solicitous to his new
upstairs neighbors, begins leaving sexually suggestive writings addressed to
Rebecca, Randolph’s wife, and letters
suggesting that Randolph and Rebecca
are sexually abusing their children.
Kurbjuweit generates suspense by
Why did you choose to include a
fictional riff on what became known
as the “affluenza” case in your book?
I think what really got under people’s skin about this case was that it
tapped into the
notion that so
many people feel
they are no longer
There’s always a
reason why it’s
fault. And I think
we’ve also grown
weary of parents
who make infinite
excuses for their
case took all these
them up, and put
a bow on them. I thought there was a
lot of material there.
What made you create an entire series
focused on revenge?
What I call the Promise Falls trilogy—
Broken Promise, Far From True, and
The Twenty-Three—are built around
the theme of revenge. Someone wants
to get even with an entire town for
its moral failings. Revenge is a pow-
erful emotion and motivator, and I
thought it would sustain those
three books. When it came to Parting
Shot, another Promise Falls book, I
realized that the “affluenza” theme
was drifting quite naturally into the
revenge theme again, so I decided
to link it a little more directly to the
trilogy, even though Parting Shot is
very much a standalone book.
As a Canadian, why
write about an
Well, for the
record, I am a dual
citizen. I was born
in Connecticut, but
my parents moved
to Canada just as I
was turning four,
and eventually I
became a Canadian.
I have two pass-
ports. But aside
from that, one of
the themes in my
novels has been the
people will go to in a failing economy.
The mortgage and banking crises
were much more of an issue in the
U.S. than they were in Canada. And
really, if I had Canadians doing all
these nasty things, no one would
believe it. We’re far too polite.
How big is Promise Falls, and how far
is it from the border?
I think Promise Falls is about 40,000
to 60,000 people in size. I often
picture it as Peterborough, Ontario,
where I went to university and held
my first newspaper job. It’s about an
hour and a half from the border.
PW Talks with Linwood Barclay
Revenge of the Internet
In Parting Shot (Doubleday Canada, Nov.), a sequel to his
Promise Falls trilogy, Barclay examines the dark intersection
of revenge and social media.