The Intruder
April 4, 2024
Book Review

The Intruder

reviewed by Lou Jacobs


After more than twenty-five years, this tour-de-force has been thankfully republished, breathing new life into a tale that resonates even more with today’s societal issues. Crafted by Peter Blauner, an acclaimed author, journalist, and television producer, and winner of the Edgar Award, this narrative interweaves the lives of two men on divergent paths. Jake, a successful lawyer, enjoys a life filled with the hallmarks of success: a loving wife, Dana, a son, and a beautiful city home, symbolizing wealth, status, and stability.

In stark contrast, John Gates faces a gradual descent into despair. Formerly a subway motorman for the Transit Authority, his life unravels after a rail accident leads to his dismissal, and tragedy strikes with the death of his beloved daughter in a heartrending accident. This calamity precipitates the dissolution of his once happy marriage, and John’s life spirals downwards. Homelessness ensues as he is forced onto the streets, scavenging for change and seeking solace in fleeting moments of sanity through medication.

Their worlds collide when John, in a desperate state, meets Dana, a psychological social worker, at the ER. Misinterpreting her professional kindness, John becomes fixated on the Schiff family, convinced that Jake has robbed him of his life and loved ones due to a bizarre twist of fate. His relentless harassment escalates, compelling Jake to protect his family at all costs. In a moment of misguided judgment, Jake enlists the help of Philip Cardi, a local contractor with mob connections, and confronts John in a confrontation that tragically ends in death, altering Jake’s life irreversibly.

Peter Blauner masterfully crafts a tense and suspenseful narrative, leading to a dramatic climax that skillfully ties together the complex threads of this enthralling story.

Special thanks to Dead Sky Publishing for providing an advance copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

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