A high-stakes civil suit over the legitimacy of wealthy Palm Beach, Fla., widow Althea Tillett's will goes ballistic with...

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SUSPICION OF GUILT

A high-stakes civil suit over the legitimacy of wealthy Palm Beach, Fla., widow Althea Tillett's will goes ballistic with the news that Althea's fall down her stairs was no accident. Althea's nephew Patrick Norris, cut off with a $250,000 bequest, is convinced the will is too decorously phrased to be authentic. He tells his law-school classmate and former lover Gall Connor that his stepcousins Rudy and Monica Tillett must have connived at forgery with Althea's attorney, Alan Weissman, the two witnesses, and the woman who (quite unnecessarily) notarized the document. Gail's hoity-toity law firm, still smarting from Gail's arrest for murder in Suspicion of Innocence (1994), isn't eager for her to take the case -- especially since the principal beneficiary of the contested will isn't the despised Tillett twins but the charitable, and formidable, Easton Trust. Even before the police decide that Althea's death was murder, however, Gail's already dug up some major dirt on the Easton Trust, taking time out from her sweetly passionate affair with criminal lawyer Anthony Quintana to masquerade as a hooker (!) in order to link the Trust to a raggedy chain of X-rated movie palaces and by-the-hour motels -- and to Carla Napolitano, whose seal notarized the will in question, but who was in New Jersey on the day the will was dated. Before Gall can depose her, Carla's dead, and then so is one of the witnesses. Weissman and his partner Lauren Sontag, an old friend of Gail's who has her eye on the judicial bench, are offering a fat settlement. But Gail, her own eye on an equity partnership, presses harder and harder, until somebody finally presses back. Lacks the pacing and drive of Gail's striking debut, but still powered by a heroine whose delicate, authoritative embodiment of the genre's current conventions -- the tensions of single parenthood, workplace romance, and professional infighting - makes her irresistible.

Pub Date: March 13, 1995

ISBN: 0759295360

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 1995