'The Interloper' by Antoine Wilson

Posted: July 3, 2007 in Book Reviews

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From The Interloper by Antoine Wilson:

“The word ghost should be like the word pants – it should never be singular. No one leaves behind one ghost. Everyone who dies leaves behind at least as many ghosts as people they knew.”

The Interloper was an impromptu read for me. I didn’t intend to read it right now, with all the piles of review books accumulating around me like ants at a summer picnic. If my hand hadn’t happened to touch this particular book, while I was pawing through a bag of books, who knows when I’d have gotten to it. I didn’t get a review copy of it, so there was no sense of true urgency, but I had an idea it had been lauded as a really good read. And far be it from me not to be influenced by that.

So I picked it up, and read the first couple of pages. Then I read a few more pages, then I said “Hell with it. I’m taking this one to my reading lair…” And the rest is history. It was as close to unputdownable as it gets.

The main character, Owen Patterson, is a man whose worsening mental state pulled me in and wouldn’t let go. As his obsession grew so did mine, and before I knew it there was no escaping until I knew how all this resolved itself.

What would the average man do if his wife felt tortured by the knowledge her brother’s murderer wasn’t paying all that stiff a price for his crime, if the pain and sadness of it had turned her into a person he no longer recognized, and he felt himself powerless to help?

The average man may not be willing to go to the lengths Owen Patterson did, starting up a correspondence with the killer, posing as a beautiful young woman, trying to win his heart and then break it, just as his wife’s heart had been broken. The further Owen gets into his plan, the more his sanity takes a dive, plunging him into obsession. The need for revenge becomes so overwhelming he puts everything on the line, risking his job and his relationship with his wife, hoping against hope that once all is said and done he’ll be able to say he’d maybe not righted the wrong, but that he’d at least balanced it out a bit. And his wife, he reasoned, would feel better knowing he’d loved her enough to do that for her, and maybe, just maybe, she’d snap back to herself again, and everything between them would be as great as it had been before her brother was senselessly and brutally murdered. That’s a lot of maybes, but when maybe is all you have you may just take a chance and grasp at anything.

“Every moment contains within it the seeds of its own destruction.”

The Interloper’s a fascinating read, especially if you love books that delve into the darker side of the psyche, like I do. The prose is beautiful, and the plot grabs you by the throat. A fine, fine book.

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Author Antoine Wilson

Check out his website and his blog.

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