A wife fakes her death to escape the most dangerous man she knows: her husband. But cruel Martin Burney discovers his wife is alive, and stalks her in a small town. A young professor there is courting her, but one night she knows her compulsively neat husband has entered her house to rearrange towels in her bath and canned goods in her kitchen.
He's found her.
He's out there.
A love story, a mystery, and a small town in World War II. What if you want--and deserve--revenge? Miranda is bright, funny and pretty. She loves two men who want her as much as they hate each other. The war changes all three. Miranda has a happy life, and a secret. She keeps it until no one remembers. No one knows.
The world thinks Randal Eliot writes during his manic phases, but his wife Mary creates his famous books and supports their family. When Randal dies, no one will believe she is the genius.
She marries a younger man, Paul, a Randal Eliot scholar. Paul cannot bear to believe Mary is the genius—she will destroy his life work and Randal Eliot’s reputation. He has killed before. He must kill again.
When Catherine Buckingham’s parents die, her young uncle, Thorn Wade, becomes her guardian and raises her as her mother wished, so Catherine becomes an adult who is not like the men—or women—of the world around her: she is a sexual creature we seldom encounter. With innocent joy Catherine explores her amorous feelings for the man who has raised her, while Thorn will not take any male initiative by word, look or action. They keep the memory of that summer like a promise they will someday fulfill.
But Thorn must leave to fight in World War II. Catherine is told he is dead, and learns, painfully, how to be like women of the 40’s and 50’s. Yet Thorn is alive, and comes to find a Catherine who is finished, accomplished. How can she face the man who formed her for another life?
Three courageous young people, one a new white slave mistress, two captured black slaves--meet on South Carolina rice plantations during the summer of 1850. Black Joan and her husband Will have been raised free, then captured. Their civilized virtues make Joan valuable as a maid in the Big House, and Will soon becomes the black slave driver.
Slavery's subtle poison corrupts the three industrious, warm-hearted young people, slave mistress as well as slaves. They have no choice; they survive, even triumph, just as capable young people trapped in a sick society would survive and triumph today.
In an echo of THE GOLDEN BOWL by Henry James, a rich father and daughter unknowingly marry two lovers. But in the world of this book, the father is a ruthless Iowa businessman who has earned his name of “Bonfire” by burning down his competitor’s warehouses. His beautiful young wife loves the wealthy life he gives her, but she cannot resist her new son-in-law, and he loves her still.
Their risk is deadly. Bonfire has the money and the power to stop at nothing, even murder. His daughter is dear to him. When Bonfire and his daughter discover the truth, one of them will forgive, but the other will kill.
Mary Bryant grows up in a dirt-poor Nebraska family, hungry and unwanted. Her only friends are a next-door neighbor and her little half-sister Rhody, but she has to leave them and run away to Chicago to sleep under a hedge and work as a waitress.
Gunther Meyer finds her, marries her, and she’s happy in her first real home with their new baby, Maria. But one day her world explodes: she discovers her marriage to Gunther was a sham. He has a rich young woman for a wife.
Mary escapes to Florida with Maria, only to find that she is being pursued by Gunther, his friend Manuel, and Gunther’s new wife. They find her at Disney’s Epcot, and Manuel forces Mary to take her baby to Mexico with him, and begs her to marry him. But he keeps her a prisoner, hiding her—why? Soon the world’s reporters are on her track—what has she done?
Publication list of award-winning short stories and a featured selection
Publication list of award-winning poems and several featured poems
A New work of Fiction
FROM CHAPTER 27:
They sipped whiskey in the dim light from the kitchen. “It’s just a story,” she said.
“That’s right,” Paul said.
“I’ve worked on it for a long time,” Mary said. “It’s good. I ought to know.”
“You’re an excellent judge of fiction.”
“I’m a good writer,” Mary said, looking into her empty glass. Paul filled it again.
“Of course you are! You’ve worked with Randal.” Paul’s voice hushed a little. “He’s the finest writer of the twentieth century—that’s what they’re saying about him.”
Rain dripped from the eaves in the dark.
“I have to make some money,” Mary said at last. “And I want to tell you what nobody knows yet.” Paul thought he heard a catch in her voice. “I only decided today after I’d talked to Randal’s agent one last time. After we’d discussed my…story.”
Paul said nothing. She seemed to be struggling with her words.
“There’s a new book of Randal’s,” Mary said. “He dictated it to me before he died—dictated the way he always did, night after night, never sleeping—“
“A new book?” Paul cried. “A book by Randal?”
“I only decided today,” Mary said. “It will sell if it’s Randal’s book. It will sell—“
“It will!” Paul jumped to his feet.
Mary stood up, too. “His agent said so. I need money for the children, and for me.”
“Of course you’re upset,” Paul said, and put his arms around her. She laid her head on his shoulder, and he held her close and murmured,” Never mind…it will be a wonderful book.”
“I know!” Mary cried. “I know! I ought to know!” She was trembling; Paul held her tight. When she turned her face to him, he kissed her, and her arms tightened around his neck. Then she pushed herself away and ran upstairs.
He waited. He walked back and forth in the dark living room. Perhaps she was up there crying.
Paul listened for a little while longer, then climbed the carpeted stairs. Mary’s study door at the end of the hall was shut, but her bedroom door stood open to the sound of soft sobbing. A dim glow from the front-yard light fell through rain-silvered windows.
“Mary?” Paul said, sitting near her on her satin bedspread. “Mary?” He could feel the bed shake slightly with her sobs. He reached out and began to rub her back. “You’re tired,” he said.
“Yes,” she said, her voice muffled. She stretched out on her stomach, her head under pillows, and Paul massaged her shoulders and the long column of her backbone. The shirt she wore got in the way; he pulled it up and stroked, kneaded, circled.
Paul pushed a pillow to one side and touched her cheek, brushed her tear-wet hair away, smelled her perfume. Bending over her in the dark, he whispered to that wet hair and cheek, “I love you—you know that. You’ve known it for a long time. Marry me.”
She turned over then, warm and damp and fragrant in his arms. He kissed her wherever his hands bared her skin, pulling her clothes off, pulling his shirt and shoes and pants off to hold her wet face against his, her body against his. Nothing but Mary’s wet face was cold—suddenly she gave off the same electric energy she had when they talked, touched, laughed—
Their breathing slowed at last. Their heartbeats slowed. Paul kissed her over and over, then reached across her to turn on the bedside lamp—
“No!” Mary cried.
Paul gave a low laugh, his face in the sweet scent of her hair. “The dark lady of the sonnets…woman of the night? Marry me…”
Mary sat up to run her hands over his furry chest and through his thick hair, then bent to kiss him. “I can’t marry you unless I tell you…” she stopped, then went on. “Randal didn’t write his books—“
“Of course he didn’t,” Paul said, his lips close to hers in the dark. “You wrote it down, saved it—where would he have been without you?” Paul’s words came out in a rush: “And I need you as much as he did—I’ll keep this job because of you, and be the Randal Eliot scholar because of you!” He shook her gently by her bare shoulders, then pulled her down to lie in his arms again.
Mary lay very still; they heard rain drive against dark windows. “You’ll be proud of me—just like you were proud of Randal,” Paul said softly. “We can keep Randal from being forgotten. You’ll see me taking his name all over the country, and you’ll know you’ve made it possible—just the way you stood behind Randal.” He kissed her again and again, until they fell asleep listening to the rain.
More reviews of
“So well-written that it raises the psychological thriller to another level.”
“Gripping…a nail-biter of a climax…
--Kansas City Star
“The tension rises almost unbearably.”
--Express-News (San Antonio)
“NIGHT WOMAN is too fine, too moving, to be labeled derivative….Highly recommended.”
“Well-written and engaging…an intriguing situation. The book pulls its punches until the very last chapters…gritty, wry characterization, chilling images of insanity…long, ultimately satisfying...will keep readers flipping pages.”
“SLEEPING WITH THE ENEMY…was made into a blockbuster movie. NIGHT WOMAN could do the same…A story that is run through the crucible of seething, rampant emotion.
--Macon Beacon (Georgia)
Foreign Editions of NIGHT WOMAN
NIGHT WOMAN (paperback, ENGLAND) Fontana, HarperCollins, London 1993.
NIGHT WOMAN (hardback, RUSSIA) Gustav Meyrink, Moscow 1994.
DIE FRAU IM SCHATTEN (paperback, GERMANY) Bastei Lubbe, Bremen 1993.
MUJER DE LA NOCHE (paperback, ARGENTINA) Emece Editores, Buenos Aires 1994.
KLAMSTVO Z LASKY (paperback, CZECHOSLOVAKIA) Ikar, 1994.
ZENA NOCIA (hardback, CZECHOSLOVAKIA) Ikar, 1994.
NIGHTWOMAN (paperback, KOREA) Shin Won, Seou1 1994.
NATTENS KVINNE (hardback, NORWAY) Hjemmets Bokforlag, Oslo 1994.
LA DAME DE LA NUIT (paperback, FRANCE) Presses de la Cite, Paris 1994.
LA DAME DE LA NUIT (hardback, FRANCE) Club France Loisirs, Presses de la Cite, Paris 1994.
LA DONNA DAI DUE VOLTI (hardback, ITALY) Euroclub, Sperling & Kupfer, Milan 1995.
LA DONNA DAI DUE VOLTI (paperback, ITALY) Sperling & Kupfer, Milan 1998.
LA DONNA DAI DUE VOLTI (paperback, ITALY) Pandora, Sper1ing & Kupfer, Mi1an 1995.
NATTKVINNAN (hardback, SWEDEN) Forum 1993.
NOCE MARY ELIOT (paperback, POLAND) Amber, Warsaw 1995.
NIGHT WOMAN (paperback, JAPAN) Mystery Paperbacks, Tokyo.