My rating: 5 of 5 stars
An Admirable book: as the tension builds we learn more about the underside of human nature, and possibly our darker selves.
Certainly much more than the romantic suspense I was anticipating, Ms. Crane had the knack of keeping this reader on the edge of his seat. The author is skilled at making the prosaic appear sinister, and as I read her descriptions of bucolic suburbia I always felt a sense that something ominous was just waiting around the corner. I believe this is Ms. Crane’s point, that we have no right to expect our lives to be “golden” and that at any moment we may be confronted with unexpected evil. And that evil comes in many guises–not necessarily the obvious monster, but in more nuanced forms–including our destructive selves.
As such, though most entertaining, “The Admirer’s Secret” took on the significance of a modern parable by allowing us to peer into this tense fictional world Ms. Crane created–with the expectation that real life lessons may hopefully be learned. At the conclusion I felt the author’s authenticity in telling us this story, and interpreted the novel as an alliterative nexus of Faust, Fatal Attraction, and Faith–a powerful triad representing the light and dark of humanity; a most provocative notion. If you wish to be both entertained and challenged, I heartily recommend this book.
Review by Mark Fine, author of The Zebra Affaire