A snappy, fast-breaking mystery/suspense in which a daughter and deposed heir to a California food consortium survives a brace of murders, heavy police suspicion, the terror of a stalker, and a final calamitous showdown. Loving her work and always assured that she would run Gallagher's Best, a food megacorp, Lacey Gallagher—divorced from husband Steve Haines and mother of teenaged Erin and J.J.—is astounded by the terms of her late father's will: her brother Scott, a charming, pleasure-loving loafer—who prefers money over running a business—is to inherit and run Gallagher's; Lacey, on the other hand, will get plenty of moolah. The siblings come to a mutually satisfying agreement—in secret—but the next day Scott is found murdered in the bed he shared with third wife Sasha. Among those interviewed by a police duo (one thinks Lacey did it, the other doesn't) are: disagreeable Sasha; bitter Jean Atwill, former executive secretary who spills a devastating secret; and even Mary, Scott's first wife, who has a surprise in store. Meanwhile, Lacey does her own snooping, and ex-hubby Steve comes up from his ranch in Texas to offer comfort before the funeral—and another murder. Lacey, in her frenzied searches and speculations, will outdistance the cops—but they'll be on hand when it counts. Even after she fingers the murderer, there are miles to go as the killer tries underwater homicide, and a brace of baddies blast away in a greenhouse. A chewy enough mystery and a good stalker finish, all paced by a rivulet of businesslike dialogue and classy digs. The people are bland, but who cares? Coscarelli (the sudsy Leading Lady, 1991, etc.) seems to have hit her stride with suspense/action.
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