Following the publication of her best book (Remember Me) and her worst (The Lottery Winner, both 1994), Clark returns to the...



Following the publication of her best book (Remember Me) and her worst (The Lottery Winner, both 1994), Clark returns to the middle range -- maybe a little south of the middle -- in this tale of a ten-year-old murder revisited. Struck by the uncanny resemblance of two of Dr. Charles Smith's plastic-surgery patients to Suzanne Reardon, the Sweetheart Murder victim whose husband Skip was convicted years ago, Bergen County (New Jersey) prosecutor Kerry McGrath agrees to reopen the case informally. Urged on by Skip's highly presentable lawyer Geoffrey Dorso, she visits Skip in jail and is impressed by his protestations -- and impressed more negatively by Dr. Smith's glacial reserve on the subject, especially after she finds out that Suzanne was his daughter. If Skip was really innocent, who killed his flirtatious wife? Suspicion falls about equally on Dr. Smith, the Pygmalion who's been obsessively recreating Suzanne ever since her death (and who's taken to stalking his latest Galatea); Kerry's ex-husband's client Jimmy Weeks, a dirty-hands developer ripe for indictment; a romantic who sent Suzanne the sweetheart roses that were found scattered over her corpse, and who's now sending Kerry veiled threats about her own daughter Robin (just emerged from her own surgery at the hands of frigid Dr. Smith); and gentleman thief Jason Amott, frantic to hide his unwilling forays into violent crime from Kerry's investigation. If you think the culprit is one of these three heavies, though, you don't know Clark; and that hint is about as subtle as the wildly successful author's ham-handed way with the creaky mystery. About what you'd expect when Clark neglects her tried-and-true damsel-in-distress formula for a whodunit: an amateurish plot studded with toothlessly menacing villains, told in prose as telegraphic and arrhythmic as a plot summary.

Pub Date: May 8, 1995

ISBN: 0743236521

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 1995