Rector-therapist Claire Aldington of New York's St. Anselm's Church, the author's usual focus (A Fatal Advent, etc.), takes a secondary role here to Janet Covington, an up-and-coming editor at Braddock and Terhune, publishers--as well as a woman with a murky past and a bundle of unresolved emotional problems. That past includes a daughter Janet has never known--taken from her at birth by her forbidding puritanical father and placed with foster parents he'd refused to his death to identify. In the meantime, Janet has accidentally discovered that she is a carrier of hemophilia, a genetic blood disease, and that her daughter, now grown, may unknowingly be one too. Janet resolves to find her. Long years ago, though, involvement at Berkeley with drugs and with Jeff Dysart, leader of a violently anti-establishment student group, resulted in acts for which Janet could still be jailed. Official channels are therefore closed in her search--and so she seeks help from new interest William MacCrae, author and ex-federal agent, and from Claire Aldington at St. Anselm's. An attempted kidnapping and two murders later it's apparent that Janet herself is a target in someone else's scenario--a scenario that, like the plot here, is elaborate, contrived, and heavily dependent on coincidence. Still, the author's sharp psychological insights and natural storyteller's ability hold the reader's attention. Just don't ask too many questions.