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Don't think twice : a novel
Wayne Johnson
Adult Fiction JOHNSON

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From Publishers' Weekly:

The elements of a potentially strong mysteryÄa character with a troubled past, a puzzling murder and shady business dealingsÄare present in Johnson's debut, but the novel, although beautifully written, fails to generate sufficient suspense. Paul, who lives in Minnesota near the Chippewa reservation where he grew up, is struggling to keep the resort he owns from going under. His marriage to Gwen is also on the brink of collapse, owing to the death of their son, and Paul, full of pride and anger, is a walking time bomb. After his friend Al is found dead, apparently a suicide, Paul begins to suspect that the shooting death was no accident and starts to scrutinize it in an investigation that parallels his personal struggles. As he unravels the complex circumstances of Al's death, Paul commences to put his own life back together. He spends much of the novel in an angry, narcissistic haze, however; and since the story is narrated from his point of view, the other characters, including his wife, seem remote. This may have been Johnson's intent, but even so, narrative force is sacrificed to Paul's self-absorbed behavior. Many detailsÄhow Paul is keeping the resort financially afloat, for exampleÄare missing from the story, and too many important plot elements are simply handed to Paul (in one scene, a woman, unprompted, unravels much of the mystery for him). The solution, then, is unrelated to his efforts. Johnson offers a memorably deep-hued portrait of a desperate character on the brink of self-destruction, but those looking for a pulsating mystery won't find one here. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Paul Two Persons lost his son last November, and now his marriage is crumbling. His businessÄa resort lodge near the Chippewa reservation where Paul grew upÄis floundering thanks to a series of minor catastrophes and some bad loans Paul made to his friend Al. When Al turns up dead, Paul is catapulted into a game of reservation politics and deadly deal making. Johnson (The Snake Game, LJ 9/15/90) has written a book that manages to make the wide, airy spaces of the land of a thousand lakes feel claustrophobic with tension. It would be facile to compare the story to Tony Hillerman's work because of the Native American protagonists, but that would not be appropriate. Nevada Barr is a better fit; like her, Johnson gives the reader a brilliant sense of place even as the plot tightens a noose of anxiety. Recommended for larger mystery/suspense collections.ÄAlicia Graybill, Lincoln City Libs., NE (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Paul Two Persons
Native American
Resort owner


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