joyce carol oates writing as rosamond smith is a writer of thrillers, often ones concerned with dualities within human nature. it is an interesting side project for an amazing writer. in Soul/Mate, she seems rather less concerned with dualities and more concerned with a kind of pastiche of the romantic thriller, complete with various overblown situations, scarcely believable characters, and almost purple prose. it is an interesting book because oates is an interesting writer; it is also rather off-putting, maybe because the romantic thriller is still quite alive and breathing. nothing new is being said here, which is unusual from an author who usually surprises me with her insights. still, the novel features a very sympathetic psychopath, which is always an entertaining achievement. and the writing is a savory thing.