Wilderness by Robert B. Parker
New York : Delacorte press, 1979. First edition. Hardcover. 243 pages ; 21 cm. $8.95 dust jacket. Foxing to the side page edges. Pages are unmarked and binding is firm.
Aaron Newman is a writer greatly concerned with matters of courage and honor, He is a weight lifter and a jogger. One day he witnesses a murder and identifies the murderer: Adolph Karl, a professional mobster. Newman agrees to testify against Karl. Then Newman's life is threatened. Janet Newman is mistreated, and Newman recants. Recanting humiliates him. The police are scornful of him. His wife is ardent for revenge, and the continuous sense of random menace frightens and demeans him. Husband and wife turn their anger and fear upon each other. The loose ends of the marriage begin to fray.
Urged by his wife and his friend Chris Hood, Newman decides he must kill Karl. Killing Karl will restore the balance of justice, redeem the source of fear. The act is difficult to contemplate, awful to do, but worse to leave undone.
With his friend, Newman hunts Karl, first through the streets of the city and then, with wife and friend, to southwestern Maine, into forests as trackless as the moral wilderness into which Aaron and anet Newman have plunged. There is death in the wilderness, and rebirth, and a final momentous chase.
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