Wade Whitehouse is an unlikely protagonist of a tragedy. Wade looms in one's mind as a bluecollar American Everyman afflicted by the dark secret of the macho tradition, his tale told by his articulate, equally-scarred younger brother. "Part thriller, part psychological study, part indictment of the American way of violence." Wade Whitehouse is an improbable protagonist for a tragedy. A well-digger and policeman in a bleak New Hampshire town, he is a former high-school star gone to beer fat, a loner with a mean streak. It is a mark of Russell Banks' artistry and understanding that Wade comes to loom in one's mind as a blue-collar American Everyman afflicted by the dark secret of the macho tradition. Told by his articulate, equally scarred younger brother, Wade's story becomes as spellbinding and inexorable as a fuse burning its way to the dynamite.