From Castle's website: I was born in 1944 in San Antonio, Texas, where my father was an officer in the World War II Army Air Corps. My family was from Illinois, however, and I was brought up and went to school on the South Side of Chicago and to college in New York (School of General Studies, Columbia University, 1968). In 1972, following a brief and undistinguished career as a Ph.D. candidate in philosophy, I moved with my wife, Alice, to the southeastern corner of Vermont, a state I probably couldn’t have found on the map at the time. We were strangers here, but we can’t have minded that too much, for we’ve hardly moved in the succeeding forty years.
In his quiet Vermont home, a man named Taft sits and wonders what’s missing from his life. He’s at a loss until a strange voice startles him from the rocking chair, where a stranger has seemingly appeared out of nowhere: well-dressed and smooth-talking, this man offers Taft the chance to have anything he’s ever wanted—for a price.
The Vermont hill country is the stark, vivid setting for this gripping and entertaining story of bold determination. The local villain, Blackway, is making life hellish for Lillian, a young woman from parts elsewhere. Her boyfriend has fled the state in fear, and local law enforcement can do nothing to protect her. She resolves, however, to stand her ground, and to fight back.
In this gripping, wise, and darkly funny tale of suspense, Sheriff Lucian Wing confronts a series of trials that test his work, his marriage, and the settled order of his life.
Fleeing the wreckage of a murky diplomatic job in a Chaotic Latin country, Mark Noon finds himself down-and-out and holed up in a hotel in Mexico. As a last resort, he claims an odd bequest from a long-deceased family friend named Hugo Usher, and comes north to move into a dilapidated hill farmhouse in rural Vermont.