Man Who Wasn't All There
by Handler, David

While staying at his ex-wife's idyllic Connecticut farmhouse to overcome his writer's block, Stewart Hoag is caught up in a strange, complex mystery involving an eccentric, unwelcoming neighbor who has it out for him.

David Handler was born and raised in Los Angeles and published two highly-acclaimed novels about growing up there, before resorting to a life of Edgar and American Mystery Award-winning crime fiction. David has written twelve novels about the witty and dapper celebrity ghostwriter Stewart Hoag and his faithful, neurotic basset hound Lulu, and is also the author of the Berger & Mitry and the Benji Golden mystery series. David was a member of the original writing staff that created the Emmy Award-winning sitcom Kate and Allie, and has continued to write extensively for television and films. He lives in a 200-year-old carriage house in Old Lyme, Connecticut.

Novelist/ghostwriter Stewart Hoag‚??s latest attempt to get away from it all lands him in the middle of it all for the 12th time. As 1993 draws to a close, Hoagy feels that he‚??s back. Not entirely back, since he‚??s still divorced from movie star Merilee Nash and still a one-trick novelist after 10 years. But, warmed by the hospitality of his ex, who‚??s loaned him her Central Park West apartment while she‚??s in Hungary shooting The Sun Also Rises, he‚??s finished 100 pages of that elusive second novel. Craving a break, he borrows Merilee‚??s car and drives out to her place in Connecticut, fully aware that his last stay in Lyme was marred by murder most foul. Shortly after his arrival, he‚??s accosted by auxiliary state trooper Austin Talmadge, who demands to see Merilee and vows reprisals if he doesn‚??t. Austin, as Hoagy soon learns, is "a highly unstable, anti-social delusional psychotic who has the emotional maturity of a ten-year-old boy" and a billionaire whose wealth is eclipsed only by that of attorney Michael Talmadge, his brother and trustee. For years, Michael has paid child psychologist Dr. Annabeth McKenna, of the Yale School of Medicine, $1 million a year to keep his brother in line. This year it‚??s not enough. Detained, sedated, and locked away, Austin easily escapes, kidnaps Hoagy and his beloved basset hound, Lulu, and imprisons them in a root cellar on Mount Creepy. His long-range plans, whatever they are, are scuttled when his throat is cut. Since Austin‚??s lifelong campaign of nasty tricks on virtually everyone in New London County gave them all a grudge against him, which of his many victims has finally turned on him? An easy-listening whodunit that brings its likable hero one step closer to the success he dreams of. Copyright Kirkus 2021 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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