The Deadly Space Between by Patricia Duncker
A Novel

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At the center of The Deadly Space Between is an adolescent boy, Toby Hawk, whose intimate relationship with his mother and her mysterious lover leads to a chilling outcome. A solitary boy in a family of independent, unconventional women, Toby lives in a small, closed world that consists of school and surfing the Internet. His mother, only fifteen years his senior, is a painter on the brink of commercial success. But everything changes when she takes up with Roehm, a fascinating but enigmatic scientist. As he begins his slow dance of courtship and seduction, alienating mother from son, their lives become unstable and duplicitous. But who is Roehm really -- this huge, sinister, irresistible man with no discernible past? The confused adolescent turns to the Web for clues about his mother's hauntingly seductive, predatory lover -- and the answers he finds transform his life.

An eerie psychological ghost story with echoes of Faust, Freud, and Frankenstein, The Deadly Space Between is a disturbing tale of Oedipal passions -- a rich and dark exploration of sexual ambiguity and longing.


About Patricia Duncker

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Patricia Duncker teaches writing and nineteenth-and twentieth-century literature at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. She is the author of two previous novels, Hallucinating Foucault, which won Dillon's First Fiction Award and the McKitterick Prize for best first novel, and The Doctor, as well as a collection of stories, Monsieur Shoushana's Lemon Trees.
Published January 1, 2002 by PICADOR. 256 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Horror, Literature & Fiction, Erotica. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Among unexplained mysteries for the reader are why Duncker chooses to include excessively lengthy excerpts from Toby’s on-line research, as well as descriptions of Windows icons and familiar objects such as slot machines: Are these meant to create an effect of estrangement or did they merely need...

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Publishers Weekly

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Tobias finally tries to kill Roehm, but is unsuccessful, and after he and Iso flee to the glacier-covered mountains of Switzerland (corresponding to Shelley's Arctic ice floes), Roehm follows.

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Star Tribune

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In her third novel, "The Deadly Space Between," Duncker again proves herself worthy of the comparison by weaving an eerie, open-ended mystery about an English teenager's fascination with his mother's enigmatic new lover.

Aug 24 2002 | Read Full Review of The Deadly Space Between: A N...

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