Man in the Woods Reviewed By Norm Goldman of
Amy Lignor

Reviewer Amy Lignor: Amy is the author of a historical fiction novel entitled The Heart of a Legend, and Mind Made, a work of science fiction. Presently, she is writing an adventure series set in the New York Public Library, as well as a teen fiction series, The Angel Chronicles.  She is an avid traveler and has been fortunate to have journeyed across the USA, where she has met the most amazing people, who truly bring life and soul to her books.  She lives in the Land of Enchantment (for now) with her gorgeous daughter, Shelby, her wonderful Mom, Mary, and the greatest friend and critic in the entire world - her dog, Reuben

By Amy Lignor
Published on September 8, 2010

Author:  Scott Spencer
ISBN:  978-0-06-146655-7

Author:  Scott Spencer
Six months ago, Will Claff had his own office; he always wore suits from the best designers; had a rental off Ventura Boulevard that he loved more than life; and, was sharing his existence with a great woman who he worked with at the bank.  Now, for the last six months, Will has been on the run.  He’s changed his name and moved from town to town living off the supreme kindness of women – women who are so great that it makes Will embarrassed to be a man.  There’s a reason for this sudden change in his life, and the reason is a gambling debt that has refused to let him rest.  Although missing his old life, Will also does experience that certain euphoria that comes from crossing state lines where no one else has ever met you or knows anything of your sins.  It’s as if he’s living as the Invisible Man.  What he really feels like is a vagabond who’s “picture” is only missing one thing…a dog.
Readers are then introduced to a man by the name of Paul Phillips.  This is one of those all-round “perfect” men who have ethics and morality that are far above normal, everyday human beings.  Paul lives with Kate Ellis and her daughter, Ruby.  (These are characters that readers will remember from Spencer’s A Ship Made of Paper.)  Paul spends his life being a master carpenter to wealthy New Yorkers, and folks in Leyden, N.Y. – the rural community north of the city.  His life really couldn’t be any better.
Kate is a recovering alcoholic, and has a book that is shooting up the bestseller list like a rocket.  Her novel is something along the lines of Tony Robbins mixed with a television evangelist with a sense of humor.  Sarcastic and truthful, Kate tells of her very real life, where she was an avid drunk and a horrible mother to her beloved Ruby; and the crowds love her for her straight-shooting demeanor and how much she’s altered her life.
One day, Paul is walking through a State Park and comes across a man abusing a dog.  Without thinking, in a state of complete “craziness,” Paul chokes the man and runs from the park with his new dog, Shep.  Although he truly loves this dog, Paul’s absolute lookout on life – his complete and utter belief in what is truly right and truly wrong – changes his “perfect” life overnight.  Now the one thing that really bothers Paul is the fact that it looks like he may actually get away with his sin, and the dog is a constant reminder to him of what he should never have done.  On top of all that, Kate and Paul notice that Ruby is regressing – going into a fantasy world and acting as if that fantasy world in her head is the true reality that surrounds her. 
As always with Scott Spencer’s novels readers will be completely “sucked into” the story.  Each and every page offers a thought-provoking look into the lives of very different people.  This book, all at once, delivers psychological thrills and chills at the same time as it delivers romance, trust, and an altered look at humanity in general.  Not that it’s a big surprise…Scott Spencer has another definite hit on his hands.  Enjoy!
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