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Mr. Peanut

352 pages

David Pepin has loved his wife since the moment they met, and after thirteen years he still can't imagine living without her - yet he obsessively contemplates her demise. Soon she's dead, and he's both deeply distraught and the prime suspect.
The detectives investigating her death have, as it happens, considerable experience with conjugal enigmas. Ward Hastroll was happily, complacently married - until his wife became inexplicably, voluntarily, and militantly bedridden. And Sam Sheppard has for decades been especially sensitive to the intricacies of marital guilt, for the most personal of reasons¿.
When Pepin is linked to a hitman, the ambiguity enfolding this case begins to resemble the Escher drawings that inspire the computer games he designs for a living. These complex, interlocking dramas brilliantly explore the twinned impulses of love and hate, murder and marriage, each endlessly recycling into the other. Mesmerizing, hugely poignant, astonishing in its reach, Mr. Peanut is a police procedural of the soul and a first novel of the highest order.

"Mr. Peanut"'s Best of 2010 Lists
"Milwaukee Journal Sentinel" "Sophisticated, surreal and creepy."
"The New Republic" "Of all the novels I read this year, this was the one that I read most eagerly, consuming it in eager gulps, dismissing other obligations."
"The Philadelphia Inquirer" "A formidable literary talent...Finely wrought and challenging."
"Ross--in a brilliant stylistic mirror of marriage--blends dream and reality, fact and perception in a narrative that's both cinematic and lyrical...The book is by turns harrowing, tender and funny." --Nancy Connors, Cleveland "Plain Dealer"
""Mr. Peanut" is full of tricks: shifting narrations, quirky chronology and meta-novels within novels. The effect is disorienting, but the characters are too well drawn to feel like pawns in some game. The result is a deliciously clever book, full of dark insight and even a touch of hope." --"The Economist"
"Fearless, challenging and unforgettable..."Mr. Peanut" is-

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Mr. Peanut