Baldwin Boettcher's Masters of Suspense Book Club

The Birthday PresentJoylandWe'll meet on Monday, April 7, 6:30 pm, at Baldwin Boettcher to talk about not one, but two suspense novels.  Copies of The Birthday Present by Barbara Vine and Joyland by Stephen King are available at the branch.  Read either one -- or both!

The Birthday Present begins as Ivor Tesham, a young and handsome Member of Parliament whose political star is on the rise, meets a woman in a chance encounter.  She is a beautiful, charismatic woman named Hebe, who happens to be married.  Against saner judgment, the two become lovers, and the obsessed Ivor is inspired to create a birthday surprise for Hebe that involves a curbside kidnapping.  It's all intended as mock-dangerous foreplay, but then things take a dark turn and go horribly wrong.  Ivor begins to receive anonymous letters that reveal astonishingly specific details about the affair and its aftermath.  Somehow he must keep his role from being uncovered -- and his political future from being destroyed by scandal. Like a heretic on the inquisitor's rack, Ivor is not to be spared the exquisitely slow and tortuous unfolding of events, as hints, nuances, and small revelations lay his darkest secrets hideously bare for all the world to see.

Set in a small-town North Carolina amusement park in 1973, Joyland tells the story of the summer in which college student Devin Jones comes to work as a carny and confronts the legacy of a vicious murder, the fate of a dying child, and the ways both will change his life forever.  This noirish novel is part of the Hard Case Crime series.