BETHLEHEM Myer Kutz stumbled upon the idea for his latest book over lunch.
The Delmar resident said one day, a plot came to him that involved the same group of people eating lunch together at work and discussing the issues of everyday life. That’s how the book begins, with a group of the main characters sitting around a table and discussing women, as Sanford Glickauer shows the first signs of his manipulative personality to Mordecai Bornstein.
“It’s a game,” says character Maggie Hartnett to Bornstein, after Glickauer continues to describe a beautiful woman across the room. “He gets you to turn around, he wins.” When she’s asked what the prize is, Hartnett replies there isn’t one. “He just wants to make you do what you don’t really want to do, that’s all.”
Those few lines set the tone of a novel that delves into the lives of Bornstein, an environmental writer and editor, and his art dealer wife, Patricia. The mystery grows as Bornstein attempts to find out more information after his wife’s unexpected death.
Kutz feels his newest psychological mystery novel, “In the Grip,” is all about infatuation.
“It deals with a universal situation, which is we are all in the grip of something or someone,” he said. “If you examine your life, there is someone you can’t live without or something that drives you. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but there are ramifications to ambition.”
This will be book number eight by Kutz, and it took him about 10 months to write it. He has also written “Rockefeller Power” and published other works under the pseudonym Mike Curtis. In his everyday life, Kutz has worked for the past 10 years on developing engineering books and living with his wife Arlene in Delmar.
Kutz said he drew upon the town and his own life heavily as inspiration for the novel, but most of the story is fictionalized.