Synopses & Reviews
At seventeen, David "Lizard" Hochmeyer is nearly seven feet tall, a star quarterback, and Princeton-bound. His future seems all but assured until his parents are mysteriously murdered, leaving Lizard and his older sister, Kate, adrift and alone. Sylphide, the world's greatest ballerina, lives across the pond from their Connecticut home, in a mansion the size of a museum, and it turns out that her rock star husband's own disasters have intersected with Lizard's — and Kate's — in the most intimate and surprising ways.
Over the decades that follow, Lizard and Kate are obsessed with uncovering the motives behind the deaths, returning time and again to their father's missing briefcase, his shady business dealings and shaky finances, and to Sylphide, who has threaded her way into Lizard's and Kate's lives much more deeply than either had ever realized. From the football fields of Princeton to a stint with the NFL, from elaborate dances at the mansion to the seductions lying in wait for Lizard, and ultimately to the upscale restaurant he opens in his hometown, it only takes Lizard a lifetime to piece it all together.
A wildly entertaining novel of murder, seduction, and revenge — rich in incident, in expansiveness of character, and in lavishness of setting — it's a Gatsby-esque adventure, a larger-than-life quest for answers that reveals how sometimes the greatest mystery lies in knowing one's own heart.
"An exploration of lives touched by greatness and tragedy in equal measure, Roorbach's latest novel traces towering Princeton graduate and NFL player cum restaurateur David 'Lizard' Hochmeyer in his attempt to unravel the tangled conspiracy behind his parents' murder in 1970. When his parents are killed in front of him at a restaurant, David believes the culprits are connected to his neighbor, the elegant ballerina Sylphide, whose rock star husband also died under mysterious circumstances, and with whom David has fallen heedlessly in love. As David trades a career in football for one in food, his sister, Kate, a tennis star with 'tough girl' endorsements, slides into paranoia over their parents' deaths. It is a soapy and thrilling indulgence, a tale of opulence, love triangles, and madness, set against a sumptuous landscape of lust and feasts, a sensory abundance that fails to mitigate the sorrows of David's youth. This is a purely Gatsbyesque portrayal of celebrity; David and Sylphide inhabit a galaxy of stars, each more blinding and destructive than the next, drawing intrigue and violence into their orbits. Roorbach (Big Bend) has written a mystery free of contemporary cynicism and recalling the glitter and allure of a kind of stardom that has also, in its way, been collateral damage to a greedy financial machine. Agent: Betsy Lerner, Dunow, Carlson & Lerner." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Bill Roorbach is the author of several books of fiction and nonfiction. His work has been published in Harper’s, The Atlantic Monthly, Playboy, the New York Times Magazine, Granta, New York, and dozens of other magazines and journals.