How Things Work
HOW THINGS WORK is told from the point of view of three very different characters. Patricia, a lesbian painter who lives in New York, Hélène, a French financier who has turned to environmental politics and Joseph, the twelve year old son of a philosophy professor.
Hélène meets and seduces Joseph's father, George, at a conference in Cambridge Mass. She convinces George to come with her to New York. George, sensitive as he is, cannot bear the thought of a day of sex in a hotel. Hélène remembers her old acquaintance Patricia and borrows the lesbian's apartment. At the end of the day, Patricia comes home to find George has left, and Hélène has overslept, missing her plane. In a rare moment of vulnerability, Hélène reveals her weakness to Patricia.
George's son Joseph is something of an idiot savant. His best friends are, the fattest girl in school, and the mentally retarded boy next door. A social misfit with an over-active imagination and an extremely curious mind, he pieces together clues about where his father went in New York and manages to show up at Patricia's door.
Indonesia's President Soharto is the last hold out in an agreement among rain-forest countries to build an OPEC-type agreement. Hélène has taken on the job of forcing Soharto to join. Working with a small band of ultra-wealthy men, she is organizing the financing of strikes in that country.
As the story unfolds, George falls in love with Hélène who uses him for her own means. Patricia, infatuated with Hélène, gets involved with the Indonesian scheme. And Joseph with his crazy enthusiasm, and with the help of his friends, inadvertently throws a wrench in the works. Hélène gets double crossed, George is bewildered and broken hearted, Joseph has a great time (only the reader knows the extent of his wacky involvement and the consequences) and Patricia takes everything in stride as a philosophical lesson in life.
The Mumbo Jumbo Man
THE MUMBO JUMBO MAN is the story of a Catholic priest who sexual molested all three daughters of a suburban Catholic family. A best selling author, a hypnotist and a palm reader, the priest is loved and admired by all. Because of the priest's frequent visits, the Reynolds family is looked upon as blessed by their Catholic neighbors.
The oldest daughter is convinced the priest will change his life and marry her. The second daughter pens a complaint to the priest's superiors and gets an ugly response which nearly ruins her.
The youngest daughter, Margaret, is twelve years old when Father first introduces his unwanted advances which continue for two years. Margaret is a very religious and emotional girl. In her hurt confusion, she asks the priest about his vow of chastity. He explains to her that he is special; Jesus Christ came to life from the cross and told him so. And besides, he adds, God is watching.
The story follows Margaret through her disjointed life and her struggle to remember her childhood as normal. It is not until she makes a real friend and tells her what happened that she finally understands how it was terribly wrong. Margaret, haunted by the idea that the priest continues to destroy the lives of other little girls, decides to travel back to her home town, interview Father and record the conversation without him knowing. She hopes to lure him into confessing his crimes.
THE MUMBO JUMBO MAN is based on a true story - it happened to me.
Trapped Under Paradise
Hawthorne Reeves' first case is to find the missing Caprial, daughter of Maria and Dick Radcliff. This leads him into a conspiracy involving the world's oil supply, manufactured earthquakes, and a nuclear weapon from former Soviet Union. He travels from California to Italy to Moscow meeting the players: a good guy theoretical physicist, a bad guy chemist, polymer specialist, and various ex-KGB.