Reviewed by Bob Lind, Echo Magazine
Published by Dreamspinner Press, December 2010
Middle-age is a time of change for Cord Bridger, a talented NYC musician who begun to give up on things ... his dreams to become a famous concert pianist, his secure but unfulfilling dead-end job at a piano factory, and a relationship that has made him feel more lonely and unloved by the day. He finds himself returning to his boyhood home in a small remote Nevada town - which held bad memories he never wanted to revisit - due to the death of his grandmother, who had raised him after the death of his mother and abandonment of his father. After the funeral, he learns his grandmother was survived by her lesbian lover, Juanita, and that he apparently has a teenage son, Kalin. The boy's mother (his former girlfriend) quickly leaves Kalin and her younger son Jem with Cord and Juanita, to take care of "some business" with her ex-husband in California. That business becomes Cord's business, as he struggles to win over his disapproving son, deal with potential new love, and keep everyone safe from a threat he may have underestimated.
I've made no secret of the fact that Alan Chin is one of my very favorite authors, and he continues to amaze me with the variety of complex, diverse, character-driven outstanding fiction he manages to write. Though I thought he went a bit "over the top" with this one in parts, it is definitely an exciting, emotional page-turner of a story, and nobody could have done it better. Five stars out of five, in a clear Nevada sky.