Sunday, September 12, 2010

New World Monkeys-Nancy Mauro

New World Monkeys
Nancy Mauro
Three Rivers (Crown), Sep 7 2010, $14.00
ISBN: 9780307461421

Estranged couple Lily and Duncan leaves the heat of Manhattan to spend part of the summer in the Upstate New York town of Osterhaven although he knows it will be a long commute as h is an ad exec in the Big Apple. Their drive is uneventful until near the house they leased, the couple hits an apparent wild boar running out of nowhere onto the road Lily feeling for the beast still alive but crying in severe pain takes the tire iron and smashes the animal’s head until he is dead.

In Osterhaven, they learn the boar they killed is considered sacred by townsfolk as the Sovereign of the Deep Wood. In particular he was Skinner’s pet and the angry odious man vows similar deaths to the killers; as does other fuming residents. The house they rented is dilapidated and while exploring outside Duncan finds a gravestone and a human bone. Stunned they disinter the remains of the buried body. While Duncan is in New York City, Lily becomes friends with the town pervert who she finds she can communicate with easier than her spouse.

This is an entertaining graveyard humor thriller tale that paints a neat twist to the urban yuppie finding heaven in rustication as both the big city and small town are made up of two legged beasts. The key to this engaging tale is Nancy Mauro never takes the subject too gravely serious as the author uses hyperbolic ghoulishness to make a case that veracity is the foundation of any relationship.

Harriet Klausner

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