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Brian Moore.

Toronto, McClelland and Stewart, c1983.
265pp, cloth, $18.95.
ISBN 0-7710-6441-1.

Reviewed by Boh Kinczyk.

Volume 11 Number 6.
1983 November.

On the day Marie Davenport plans to tell her husband, Alex, that she is leaving him, Alex suffers a terrible accident in the Bay of Angels. He is taken to the hospital in Nice, pronounced dead, and delivered to the morgue. The following morning Marie learns that the body has disappeared.

So begins Brian Moore's fourteenth novel, Cold Heaven, a mystery-thriller that rapidly becomes curiouser and curiouser. Marie returns to her hotel room to find that Alex's clothing, plane ticket, passport, and traveller's cheques are gone. At the bottom of an airshaft across from the bathroom window she sees a green hospital scrub suit, coat and cap. A call to the airport confirms her suspicions: Dr. Alex Davenport is booked on the next flight to New York.

Unable to catch up to her husband in New York, Marie follows a trail of clues that lead her to a motor inn near Carmel, California-where she had first committed adultery one year ago. There she finds her husband and her lover.

Signs, omens, portents, and messengers "from the other world" drive Marie to a rocky promontory near the inn where-exactly one year ago—she had had a profoundly disturbing mystical experience.

Since Marie is not a good Catholic, it is tempting to view the quasi-religious coincidence-tormented happenings at Carmel as an elaborate projection of the subconscious: after all, Marie is hounded by guilt because of her adulterous affair. Unfortunately, the novel is too catholic to permit such a reading. The messengers from "the other world" are. . .messengers from the other world.

Cold Heaven is fast-paced, cleverly written, and totally outrageous.

Boh Kinczyk, Central Elgin C. I., St. Thomas, ON.
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