by Jonathan Dee
Mark Firth is a home builder in Howland, Massachusetts in the early 2000s who, after being swindled by a finanical advisor, feels opportunity passing him by. In the paranoid days after 9/11, a New York money manager, Philip Hadi, moves his family to Howland and hires Mark to turn his his house into a "secure location." When Howland's first selectman passes away suddenly, Hadi runs for office, and begins subtly transforming the town in his image. The collision of these two men and their very different worlds — rural vs urban, middle class vs wealthy — propels Jonathan Dee's new novel to a haunting conclusion. This is a novel that captures our fraught moment, but is timeless in its depiction of the American family.