The sex/murder secrets in this old-fashioned suspenser become thoroughly transparent about halfway through--but Conners...

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DANCEHALL

The sex/murder secrets in this old-fashioned suspenser become thoroughly transparent about halfway through--but Conners keeps some hokey formulas bouncing along nicely enough, even pulling out the ancient Wrong-Man-on-Death-Row routine in the final chapters. David Powell, husband of upstate-N.Y, heiress Sue and father of adorable, ill little Dana, gets a shock when a body surfaces in nearby Lake Placid: could it be the corpse of a girl whom teenager Dave met briefly 20 years ago? It could indeed. And Dave, who's acting mighty guilty (but isn't, of course), quakes. . . as the FBI, re-investigating the old disappearance case, closes in on him. Meanwhile, too, it seems that Dave's coolly gorgeous business-partner Emily (a dear, bitchy chum of Sue's) knows that he has a secret related to the long-ago crime--and is using her knowledge to pressure him into a disadvantageous business move. But though Dave is soon arrested for the 20-year-old murder, the reader's suspicions have been led elsewhere: Emily and Sue, it appears, are secret lesbians (no wonder Sue has always been so chilly with Dave!); a private-eye who attempts to blackmail Sue is promptly a fatality, as is a Powell-estate retainer who Knew Too Much. And, while Dave is tried, convicted, and sent to Death Row, it becomes likely that the Sue/Emily liaison is connected to the long-ago murder--especially when, at the corny last moment, Dave's lawyer comes up with some evidence that clears him. . . and elicits a confession from the quasi-psycho, not-very-convincing culprit. In these closing chapters, there's a feeble attempt to invoke the horrors of Death Row and inveigh against the death penalty. But never mind: Conners makes a blandly readable and pleasantly predictable thriller out of the familiar materials here--with no fireworks but no undue sleaziness either.

Pub Date: April 1, 1983

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Bobbs-Merrill

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1983