Books: Odd Man In

PEACEABLE LANE (345 pp.) —Keith Wheeler—Simon & Schuster ($4.50).

Matt Jones is a run-of-the-Miltown adman who lives in a suburb of New York's Westchester County, where the only certainties are debt and taxes. Peaceable Lane is a newly planted colony of middle-class status creepers whose houses cost $30,000. "You can get some pretty odd ones at those prices," says a big-rich snob from nearby Grassy Tor, but Peaceable Lane's eleven families, ranging from doctors and lawyers to a union vice president and a radio commentator, are not notably odd. Matt and his neighbors are a standoffish, power-mower elite who rarely pool anything...

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