Synopses & Reviews
Tom Levy is guilty.
Years ago the young lawyer worked a brilliant insurance scam that left him wealthy, but now, desperate for distraction, he can't think straight. He hopes a Jamaican vacation with his wife and two daughters will save him, but the hotel lacks the sex and uncertainty Tom craves, and he is forced to find distraction in a married woman. He hovers near her, afraid to talk but certain that she is a prize her oafish husband does not deserve. And then one night, at a beach bar reggae concert, the husband goads Tom's four-year-old daughter into an act so vulgar that Tom vows the man will pay for it with his life. But when he fights the man atop the Dunn's River Falls, it is Tom who must deal with the consequences of his actions and he is forced to face the inner darkness that has, until now, flown safely Under Radar.
"[Tolkin] fumbles with this rambling chronicle....Though pitched as a thought-provoking story about life's 'infinite battalion of choice and consequence,' [Under Radar] is marred by its uneven pacing, belabored existential tone and absurd premise not to mention its unsympathetic protagonist." Publishers Weekly
"A slender tale that begins like one of Tolkin's trademark black comedies before veering off into a fable far riskier....Scheherezade without the urgent threat of death: an enigmatic yet haunting tribute to the power of storytelling." Kirkus Reviews
"[P]rovocative...so unexpected, so full of startling insights, that it seems to be blazing a fresh trail." The Oregonian
"Michael Tolkin asks tough questions about basic human themes....He's unafraid to suggest provocative answers, or to speculate that there may be no answers at all....Packs the power of some ancient parable." Seattle Times
"Ambitious....Tolkin is taking on the shades of literature's foremost anatomists of ambiguously motivated murder: Dostoyevsky in Crime and Punishment and Camus in The Stranger." San Francisco Chronicle
Tolkin has garnered acclaim for his classic dark comedies "The Player" and "Among the Dead." His most ambitious novel yet, "Under Radar" is a tale of guilt and redemption that is "provocative. . . so unexpected, so full of startling insights, that it seems to be blazing a fresh trail" ("The Oregonian").
Michael Tolkin has garnered acclaim for his classic dark comedies The Player and Among the Dead. His most ambitious novel yet, Under Radar is a tale of guilt and redemption. While vacationing in Jamaica, Tom Levy witnesses a man goading his four-year-old daughter into an act so vulgar that Tom vows he must pay for it with his life. The next day, when they come to grips atop the Dunn's River Falls, Tom kills the man in cold blood. Condemned to prison, Tom faces a world unlike any he has ever known, among the most brutal and hardened men of Jamaica. Does an elusive story hold the key to their salvation, and Tom's own? And once Tom has told it, can he find a way to reenter the hearts of those he has left behind? Under Radar is insightful and haunting, gripplingly wrought with layers of power and meaning.