London Enquiries Agent John Samson (Death of a Man Tamer, etc.) accepts a sizable retainer from the conspicuously timid...

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THE FRIGHTENED WIFE

London Enquiries Agent John Samson (Death of a Man Tamer, etc.) accepts a sizable retainer from the conspicuously timid Jessica Lee, who hires him to solve her murder, should it occur: she has these premonitions. And as well she might with a husband who's made a career of strong-arming tenants out of homes, who has pet attack dogs named Spite and Fury, and who knows (by taping all incoming and outgoing phone calls) that she has a schoolteacher lover, Patrick Armitage. When Patrick disappears, his teacher chum Tim Widgery hires Samson to find him--resulting in an assault on Samson's agile assistant Shandy, a breaking and entering of the Lees' ultra-secured Hingley Hall home, and the release of Jessica, who has been held incommunicado in a basement fortress room during Patrick's disappearance, his incarceration (by the vengeful Lee) and his drive off the dock, courtesy of one Ferdie Gold, enforcer. Soon Jessica's visiting Samson in spiffy duds, with spunky attitude and a plot twist that calls to mind The Collector by John Fowles. And throughout, there's the overpowering scent of Zibetha Exlusif, Lee's favorite perfume, as ominous a plot device as yet devised. Absolutely chilling are: a doll named Judith, Samson's wrenching off of her arms, and Ferdie's packing her off to South America. A haunting psychological tale from one of the genre's more astute practitioners.

Pub Date: March 22, 1988

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 1988