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The Edge of the Gulf    by Hadley Hury order for
Edge of the Gulf
by Hadley Hury
Order:  USA  Can
Poisoned Pen, 2003 (2003)
Hardcover, Paperback
*   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Hadley Hury is a former film critic, which is probably why there are reviews of films in their entirety in his suspense novel. The Edge of the Gulf. The fact that he teaches literature explains this author's wonderful use of words. A love for the Gulf Coast is evident in his descriptions. His characterizations are incredible very well fleshed out. You feel as though the name of each player described could be in your personal phone book. Hury certainly recognizes human strengths and frailties.

Hudson DeForest returns to the community of Laurel on the Gulf Coast to try to pull his life back together after the death of his wife. The reason for her death remains a mystery until the end of the book. Hudson's pain is very real and his rage at the loss of his wife is understandable and is written with sympathetic compassion. We are able to see the long road he has traveled to come back to a world he is no longer sure he wants. Suspense enters the plot when the nephew (and the nephew's wife) of Hudson's gay friend Charlie intrude on his very privileged life. Hudson's old friend is a very rich, self-made man, who now needs help. The aforementioned suspense kicks in here and keeps the reader slightly on edge.

I hesitate to venture to the down side of a novel whose author knows far more about writing than I do. But I know what I like to read and must go by that. The action doesn't start until after at least the first hundred and fifty pages, and then it picks up very slowly until the last hundred pages or so. The film reviews are very off putting as they break up whatever has transpired, making it hard to get back to the story. I gathered that the reviews were of movies relevant to the plot, but they got in the way. Though beautifully written by a man with a great command of the language, The Edge of the Gulf was very easy to put down.

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