DeLynn (Some Do, In Thrall) has both brightened and deepened her palette, and out has come a wicked, uncomfortably specific portrait of Manhattan life and love in the late Eighties. Lorraine, a fashion manufacturer, is separated from her arbitrageur husband David after they've knocked themselves out to redo their Upper West Side apartment; David's adulteries as well the sheer strain of city remodeling have taken their toll. Lorraine, however, soon meets Jack, a downtown painter of no great accomplishment but also--rare in the art world nowadays--not a killer, not a shark. What draws Jack to Lorraine--along with her battered, sexy realism--is her apartment: a wonderful place to live and work in, especially after his Lower East Side hole. But how Jack will manage with Lorraine and her pubescent daughter Judy and a puzzled dog (also named Jack) and a haughty cat in an apartment where, all the improvements notwithstanding, nothing really works. . .that's beyond any exploration of ingenuity Jack has yet devised. Here, DeLynn has written a journalistic book with a merciless, on-target panning of the amoral art market especially--but there's also a moralistic, even sentimental one. Yet she's maintained a steady intrusion into her characters' hearts--no one (except possibly the thinking dog) is in any way inconceivable or unidentifiable--and that gives the book, despite its stiffly inevitable last pages, a depth and comic veracity.