Who is "The Alias Man"?
How much do you know about your spouse? Do you know all about his childhood? Do you know where she lived before she met you? And what about your spouse’s day-to-day life? Do you know for sure that he goes to work, has co-workers, does a job? In Bill Pronzini’s new novel “The Alias Man” (2004, Walker & Company), Jessie, Sarah, and Morgan all think they know their men, but the truth is more than they can imagine.Jessie is a young widow living alone in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, after many years of marriage. Trying to help her move on, her friends suggest that she take a vacation, so she travels to New Mexico to sort out her thoughts. While she’s there, a handsome stranger strikes up a conversation. Frank Court is charming and sophisticated, an art aficionado who introduces Jessie around the Santa Fe art community. Jessie realizes how lonely she’s been and begins a love affair with Frank that culminates in his asking her to marry him. When Jessie returns to Bucks County, she waits for Frank to contact her, but aside from a gift of flowers, he never does.Eight years ago, Sarah’s husband, Scott Collins went missing and is presumed dead. Scott’s car was found empty on Vancouver Island, and his body was never recovered. Sarah has struggled all these years, running a bookstore that always seems on the verge of bankruptcy, but with the help of David, a friend who wishes he were more than just a friend, she manages to make ends meet. Now somebody has called Sarah on the phone. He says he has information about Scott, and demands five thousand dollars.Morgan lives near San Francisco and is married to Burt Cord, but their marriage is strained. Burt has been gone more and more lately, and Morgan becomes suspicious. Is Burt having an affair? When he tells her he’s leaving her for another woman, Morgan is devastated, until she finds the key to Burt’s safe deposit box.Three women. Three men. Or are there? When Jessie begins to dig for the truth about Frank Court, she finds a deeper and deeper mystery, and the three women’s lives come together in a way that none could ever have believed. So who is Frank Court? Where is Scott Collins? And who is the woman that Burt Cord is involved with?An award-winner and author of over sixty books in various genres, Bill Pronzini has cooked up a fine mystery that’s a little creepy, but oh-so-believable. You might have the truth figured out in a chapter or two, but reading how the characters sort it out is half the fun. You never really get to know the Alias Man until almost the end of the story, which is also a nice twist.Read this book. It’s a good mystery, and it will make you hope you really do know your spouse as well as you think you do. VT