Stephen R. Donaldson, writing as Reed Stephens,
The Man Who Tried to Get Away
(Ballantine, 1990; Tor, 2005)

Mick "Brew" Axbrewder is in the hospital, recovering from the gunshot wound he received from el Senor's bodyguard. Calls start coming in warning Brew that el Senor is not feeling forgiving of the fact Brew killed the man who shot him. His partner and sometimes-lover, Ginny Fistoulary, has been hiding her own concerns on the subject, until she shows up one day telling him she's gotten them a cushy job that will get them out of town. They've been hired as security for Deerskin Lodge, a mock-murder camp retreat.

Too hurt and full of misery on several counts, neither questions the job sufficiently before going there. Brew sees that Ginny is attracted to one of the guests and starts agonizing that he might finally be losing her. Then the murders start. (Real ones, not the mock-mystery kind.) And though he was missed, it looks like the actual intended target was Brew. But now they are all stuck in the lodge, snowed in, all means of escape denied them. Brew and Ginny must find out who the killer is before it is too late.

The Man Who Tried to Get Away is one twisted puppy, with a bizarre yet compelling cast of characters and some awesome discussions on mystery fiction vs. the real-life variety. There's plenty more Ginny and Brew angst. Relationships, sneaking, lies and more galore, along with several definite surprises. Good stuff!

[ visit the author's website ]

review by
Gloria Oliver

29 March 2008

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