The Snow Garden
A shocking death exposes dangerous forces of seduction, obsession, and vengeance lurking beneath the idyllic surface of a prestigious New England university.
It is more than just the late November weather that has cast a chill over the campus of Atherton University. When the wife of respected professor Eric Eberman is killed in a tragic accident, his secret student lover, Randall Stone, fears the professor tried to avert career suicide by committing homicide. Or do the dead woman’s haunting last words point to an even more damning crime?
Fearing the truth, Randall digs into his lover’s hidden history. But what he finds draws him and everyone he cares for into a dark dance of sexual manipulation, twisted retribution, and murderous rage where nothing is as it seems. And no one will escape from it unscathed…if they escape at all.
In this emotionally gripping tale from New York Times bestselling author Christopher Rice, the past may seem buried, but it can come back with a deadly vengeance.
Revised edition: This edition of The Snow Garden includes editorial revisions.
Life imitates art imitates late-night cable TV in Rice's second college gothic novel (after A Density of Souls). Set in the histrionic, pansexual pharmacopoeia that is freshman year at fictional Atherton University, it follows the secret dramas of Kathryn, a San Francisco waif on the run from dark sexual secrets back home; her black, militant lesbian roommate, April; her best friend, Randall, a mysterious, gay, Gucci-clad prince; his roommate, Jesse, an enigmatic and apparently irresistible (straight? bi? predatory?) sex god; Tim, gay muckraker for the campus paper; and Dr. Eric Eberman, an art history professor with a theory about Hieronymus Bosch which, the author seems to suggest, has something to do with the plot. Eberman is sleeping with Randall, and the news of his wife's sudden demise makes for a panicky recall of events of nearly 20 years ago. Randall, having just broken up with Tim, is finding it harder and harder to resist Jesse's mysterious magnetism, but in order to find out whether Eric is a murderer, starts sleeping with Tim again to probe Eric's past. Kathryn finds herself drawn to one of Eric's misfit grad students, and April, who seems to exist merely to counterbalance the XY pH of the overall bitches' brew of the book, makes an observation about Kathryn that might well be applied to the author himself: "... you like drama. Epic, who-shot-JR drama." Said tendency muddles what might otherwise have been a decent gay-themed mystery, but readers may not want to relive freshman year for 400 pages in order to learn whodunit. Agent, Lynn Nesbit. (Feb. 13)Forecast: The son of Anne and Stan has enough of a following to guarantee respectable sales, bolstered by a 15-city author tour, national advertising and a teaser chapter in the paperback of A Density of Souls. Son of the bewitching Anne Rice, the author follows his first novel, A Density of Souls, with a second that is just as rife with murder, fear, madness, and homoeroticism. Unfortunately, it is also a histrionic hodgepodge, all set on a snowbound college campus in the Northeast. Respected Atherton University professor Eric Eberman seems devastated when his wife, Lisa, drives her Volvo into the icy Atherton River and drowns. Was it a drunken accident or suicide? This question and many more erupt into scandal when the small university town discovers that Professor Eberman has been sleeping with one of his male students, Randall Stone. Randall comes to suspect that Lisa's death was not accidental, and subsequently he and his tightly knit group of college friends go through tremendous amounts of angst, haunted by sexual desires and obscure fears and just generally all worked up. Rice tries to imbue this pretty much plotless novel with an aura of foreboding, but it just ends up being tiresome. Stick with mom. Rebecca House Stankowski, Purdue Univ. Calumet Lib., Hammond, IN Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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