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    Review of THE DREAM OF THE BROKEN HORSES by William Bayer (see his website)

    Pocket Books, February 2002

    Since his childhood, forensic artist David Weiss has been obsessed with a society double-murder that implicated his father and drove the man to suicide. Now, Weiss is back in his childhood home of Calista (a mythical midwestern town) and intends to use his time to discover the truth. The murder may be decades old but Weiss is certain that the easy explanations are wrong--that something more profound remains to be found.

    Weiss's investigations lead him to stories of sexual obsession, child pornography, and blackmail. There are plenty of motives for murder--and even after all the years that have passed, some still living are willing to take action to stop the investigation and protect their secrets. With the help of a case writeup by his father and one of the victim's intimate diary, Weiss learns a great deal about the people who were killed, but nothing points a certain finger at the actual killer.

    Author William Bayer's strong writing makes THE DREAM OF THE BROKEN HORSES something special and something far stronger than the story that underlies it. In some ways, the actual story is frustrating and important loose ends remain. Bayer's use of diary to develop character and reveal clues would normally be a cheat. Somehow, however, Bayer pulls it off. The powerful character of Barbara Fulraine (one of the victims) dominates the novel and the lives of many of the survivors. Her dream of broken horses may have been a psychiatrist's wish fulfilment, but it is also a sad reflection of the painful life Barbara endured.

    THE DREAM OF THE BROKEN HORSES is a hard book to put down. Although most of the action takes place in back story, Bayer's writing is so compelling that I found myself reading on compulsively. Very fine.

    Four Stars

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