Jake Schiff has made it. He's a successful Manhattan lawyer and he's finally acquired the dream home for the family he cherishes: Dana, a psychiatric social worker, and Alex, their teenage son.
Then the Intruder enters their lives.
John G is a homeless addict who has become Dana's patient. He begins to stalk her and menace the family. When he threatens Alex with a knife Jake snaps. Driven to breaking point by fear and desperation, Jake agrees to the terrifying action suggested by Phil, an Italian-American from Jake's old neighbourhood, and suddenly Jake's glittering career and all he has worked so hard to achieve is threatened when he is arrested for murder.
- From the inner front cover.
FIRST SENTENCE: October 14, A prominent Manhattan lawyer was arrested yesterday and charged with killing a homeless man on the Upper West Side.
MEMORABLE MOMENT: Life in the office is already going back to normal. Bills will be sent, phone calls will be returned, motions will be answered. And after ten years at this firm, Jake realizes he doesn't have anyone who's enough of a friend to even call his family for him.
I have very mixed feelings about this novel as though I found it to be very well written on the one hand, it was badly written and unbelievable on the other. Easy to read and yet, at the same time, difficult due to it's overuse of American legal terms, abbreviations (BQE?) and so called 'black street culture' slang that I'm sure many Americans wouldn't understand let alone someone (like myself) from another country.
The characters were also of a mixed variety. The character of John G being superbly written - his gradual descent into madness and his search for help being second to none as was the portrayal of the hideous Phil Cardi, a truly awful individual who, sad to say, was all too believable as a racist. Whilst, on the other hand, you had the totally unbelievable Jake Schiff - how any lawyer of his supposed standing could be so naively gullible is beyond me.
As for the plot itself? Average at best and weak and predictable at worst with the author not making nearly enough use of Dana Schiff - at just under 400 pages it is over long.
The Intruder was purchased as ex-library stock.