Gallery (Simon & Schuster), Jul 5 2011, $23.00
Puget Sound University’s Professor of Psychology Sheila Tao and her teaching assistant Ethan Wolfe are having an affair although she is to soon marry Texas financier Morris Gardener. Sheila needs to end the tryst immediately, but struggles to do so not because of some love for her TA. Instead she belongs to Sex Addicts Anonymous; something her fiancé and her lover fail to know.
Ethan manipulates the human behavior expert by playing on her lust when they are alone and on her guilt when they not. The pair has been together for three months, but time has run out for Sheila. She abruptly vanishes without a trace and her suspicious fiancé fails to gain any help from the Seattle police even though he fears foul play occurred. The affluent Texan hires a private eye whose investigation uncovers the ugly side of Sheila who finds she cannot let go of Ethan by just saying goodbye.
Creep is a fascinating yet terrifying psychological thriller mindful of the movie Fatal Attraction. Ironically none of the lead triangle comes across as nice though readers will empathize with the professor’s addiction, which is deftly handled to provide insight to the condition while being the enabler to set the dysfunctional relationships. Although too much happenstance occurs, sub-genre fans will appreciate the taut tale wondering who amongst the Professor, the Financier and the Creep will be left standing.