“So you see, none of this was planned. This is the kind of unforeseeable map that arises one bright little city at a time. It is about letting go of the clench in your forehead and letting your heart steer. And it isn’t as easy as it sounds.”
Lamb is minding his own business when the little girl, dared to do so by her two friends, brazenly walks up to him and asks for a cigarette. On his way home from his father’s funeral, and still a little numb from that experience, Lamb’s original reaction when the freckle-faced little girl approaches him is to feel sorry for her. Then he decides, with little Tommie’s complicity, to teach her friends a lesson by making it appear that he is kidnapping her by force.
“So you see, none of this was planned.”
Lamb considers himself a good man. When he looks at Tommie, he sees a little girl from a poor background and, most likely, from a broken home, who has no future unless she changes her ways soon. He wants to help her, and he thinks he can do that by taking her on a road trip from Chicago to the remoteness of the Rocky Mountains. Lamb, a fiftyish failure at his job, his marriage, and most other personal relationships, believes he still has something to offer this child.
Although Lamb is not an explicitly sexual novel, it is most definitely a disturbing one. The source of the book’s horror is its reminder of how often evil is motivated by good intentions, and how easy it is for a predator like David Lamb to make himself unrecognizable to the rest of us. Fair Warning: Bonnie Nadzam has written an impressive debut novel, but it is one that will not be quickly, or easily, forgotten.
Rated at: 4.0
(Review Copy provided by Publisher)