Another disappointing suspense novel--this time standard-gothic--from a fine short-story writer. Ten years ago Jenny Holland...

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FAMILY REUNION

Another disappointing suspense novel--this time standard-gothic--from a fine short-story writer. Ten years ago Jenny Holland left her Southern family's Victorian manse River House, fled the attentions of cousin Wendell Mears, and got a job at Max's Secondhand Books in N.Y.C. But now Wendell has invited the whole family back for a reunion in the fixed-up house--and when Jenny arrives the gothic ghastlies start right up. Someone takes a razor to Jenny's clothes. A highboy mysteriously tips over. Someone beheads a chicken and writes ""GET OUT"" in blood on Jenny's mirror. And the family is generally bonkers: Jenny's mother Lizzie shows up in a life-preserver (she's waiting for the second Flood), later goes batty in church; foul cousin Fearn is out to reduce Jenny to tears; and Jenny's love interest is distant cousin David from Tucson--who shows up on a motorcycle with his motherless son Malachi. Soon, of course, mysteries and ugly incidents escalate. Who lives in the strange cabin in the woods? Who is the funny hairless young man who shows up with a basket of tomatoes for Jenny? And WHO's Been Living in the Attic? Well, it's the same person who tries to drive David and Jenny off a bridge into a swollen river: her supposedly dead dad Raymond! And the family secrets quickly start gurgling out--with childhood rape, incest, and mass murder poured on like gravy. . . right up to Janny's showdown with her pore old rapist Pappy. Hints of Harrington's talent here and there--especially at the beginning--but mostly a lurid-gothic clichÉ-fest, only for devotees of that pulpy genre.

Pub Date: March 19, 1982

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1982