Knopf, Jun 22 2010, $25.95
Alice Pepin dies with a peanut stuck in her throat. Her distraught computer game developer husband of thirteen years David claims she knew she was allergic to peanuts which caused an anaphylactic shock reaction and believes the depression sufferer committed suicide.
Detectives Sheppard and Hastroll agree the husband is guilty of murder. They plan to prove it starting with a good cop bad cop interrogation of David; his first words to them are he did not kill her. However, what hits home to Ward and Sam, the cops on the case, is how much David’s relationship with his late wife parallels their respective relationships with their still living wives.
This is a strange well written disturbing police procedural that uses death to look clearly at three “loving” couples through mostly the lenses of the males frustrated with their partners. Character driven, readers will wonder whether David killed Alice and whether the cops sympathized with him sort of like the courtroom scene in How To Murder Your Wife in which viewers wonder whether the juror will press the imaginary button or not. Fans who relish something refreshingly different in their suspense reading will appreciate the unique Mr. Peanut.