*Warning: this review contains massive spoilers*
In a small town in Iowa, Seth Novak never knew his father and believed his older brother committed suicide. He lived alone with his mother and immersed himself in the massive collection of comic books his brother, Jake left behind. He paid particular attention to the early Spiderman issues. At some point he begins calling himself Peter Parker.
He met a young girl working in a service station at night named Sheila. She went to school by day and worked at night to save enough money to move to Paris. She became Gwen Stacy to his Peter Parker. One night he walked into the station and laid a gun on the counter and told her that he was leaving town and that he wanted her to come with him. He needed the money from the cash register and hoped she would give it to him. Sheila (then Gwen) told him to point the gun at her as she emptied the drawer, locked the door and turned off the pumps, so it appeared he had kidnapped her.
They went to Chicago because there was a man there that Peter said he had to save. He said he didn’t know the man, but he was standing in front of a mirror and taking a handful of pills. He knew this Gwen actually happened upon the man Peter was looking for when she found a stray dog/Coyote that the man said was his. He was trying to get the dog in the truck when Gwen pulled a gun on him and made him get in the truck along with the dog and made him take her to his apartment. She tied him up and questioned him for some time. She found out he was Jake Novak.
The next day Gwen goes back to the apartment where she lived with Peter and left a message with the address of the man he was looking for. For some reason she didn’t go back to Jake’s apartment right away and just walked with the dog. She started seeing posters on posts with her picture on them stating that she had been kidnapped. She was on her way back to Jake’s apartment when a man approached her and in her haste to get away from him she fell into the lake. Hence the night Gwen Stacy died.
Reminiscent of legendary contemporary writers Joy Williams, Lorrie Moore and Kelly Link, Ms. Bruni has written an interesting twist on the usual love story. With a unique and distinctive voice, Bruni utilizes her vast skill by transporting classic comic book characters into a world full of mystery, intrigue that will thrill readers.