It is a truly wonderful feeling to pick up the first published novel by an author and realize that she has hit the jackpot on the first try. Hopefully, there will be many more of the same category allowing her readers to look forward to her books and picking them up when available.
The story begins, as the title indicates, with Dr. Robert Hart receiving the Sag Harbor award for the Man of the Year. Dr Hart has it all: a thriving medical practice, a beautiful home, a beautiful and charming wife. His setting is in a lovely and upscale community on Long Island away from the mad hustle and bustle of New York City, hours away by car. His boat sits in the harbor and his dream is to get an even fancier boat in the near future.
His son, Jonah, has just come off the normal teenage rough patch and is apparently entering an adulthood that involves better relationships with his parents. Jonah has a very good friend that he met in the college he is attending and brings Nick home with him for the summer vacation. And therein enters the fly in the ointment.
After a time, Robert comes to the conclusion that Nick is having an affair with Elizabeth, the beautiful wife in the picture. Walker brings out Dr. Hart’s suspicions via innuendos he perceives in watching the interaction between the two. Clues are available for the reader which seem to point in that direction.
We are swept up in the story by the method and style used by the author and it is a book that cannot be put down before finished. There is a surprise ending which is satisfying based on what has gone before it. This in no way is any sort of detriment for the reader. I leave with the hope that I will have the pleasure of reading more Walker books in the near future.
6/19 Paul Lane
MAN OF THE YEAR by Caroline Louise Walker. Gallery Books (June 11, 2019). ISBN 978-1982100452. 304p.