Title: Jack of Spades Author: Joyce Carol Oates Published: May 5th 2015 by Grove Atlantic Format: ebook; Hardcover Pgs 208 Genre: Psychological Thriller Source: My thanks to Netgalley and Grove Atlantic for an opportunity to read an advance copy of this book.
I have never read a Joyce Carol Oates book before, I had no idea what I was getting into and if this book is any indication of what her past works have been, I will tell you that this author perplexes me.
Throughout the entire book I could not tell you who the most peculiar person was, was it Andrew J. Rush who goes back and forth between using the first person narrative but yet refers to himself in the third person a split personality? Was he an alcoholic battling his demons? Was he demented all along and just happened to find an alternate personality that was able to write novels that he paralleled to better known authors.
Was Irina, his wife an accomplice to his darker half? Did she stay in the background to view from afar the demise of her husband? Did his sons back away or was Andrew J. Rush unapproachable even to his own family?
Then you have C. W. Haider who set this whole macabre dance in motion. I do not know where to begin with this character, was she truly gifted but battling her own psychosis? I am sure that this character alone could have a group talking for hours.
Up until the very end, I was not sure if I liked this book that read to me as an homage to Edgar Allan Poe, or if I was terrified to let go once I was inside the mind of Andrew J. Rush. What I do know is that as Andrew J. Rush stepped to the end of the diving board, all I could think was “Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting …”