Martha Horgan is not like other women. She stares. She has violent crushes on people. She can’t stop telling the truth, no matter how uncomfortable the circumstance. Martha doesn’t understand why people reject her. She craves love, independence, and companionship, but her relentless honesty makes her painfully vulnerable to those around her. At home there is Frances, her beautiful, wealthy aunt and begrudging guardian. At the dry cleaner’s where she works there is Birdy who befriends her, but, unable to bear Martha’s suffocating attention, cruelly rejects her. And into the gatekeeper’s cottage there comes Colin Mackey, the seductive man who preys on her desires, as well as her aunt’s. Martha is befriended first by the ladies in the boarding house, then by kind Mr. Weilman who takes her in when she has no where else to go. Wesley Mount, the shy local undertaker is growing fond of Martha. But confused and increasingly bitter, she distrusts even those with her best interests at heart.
In the end, Martha is propelled into a desperate attempt to gain control over her life. But the truth sends her reeling. When her rage culminates in violence, she finally becomes that most dangerous woman that society always fears.
A novel of unnerving suspense and terrifying insight into the perversities of passion, A Dangerous Woman is as devastatingly honest as Martha herself.
“One of the best novels of the year.”
Chosen as one of the best books of the year by the New York Times Book Review and the ALA Library Journal.