Another slick if divinable suspenser from Savage (Precipice, 1994), Greenwich Village-set, in which a psychopath with a...



Another slick if divinable suspenser from Savage (Precipice, 1994), Greenwich Village-set, in which a psychopath with a grudge stalks a young mystery writer. A malefic valentine card first alerts Jillian Talbot that her picture-perfect life may be in danger. More annoyed than terrified, however, she dismisses the hateful missive as the work of a disaffected fan. But while she's a whiz at plotting her own books, the bestselling author overlooks important clues the text provides readers in a series of set-piece flashbacks. At an Ivy League college some 15 years before, Jill briefly bonded with three campus queens known as the Elements. With her unwitting aid, these self-absorbed young beauties once visited sexual humiliation on an annoying outsider names Victor Dimorta, who was then expelled in the wake of this St. Valentine's Day escapade. The thoughtless prank unhinged Victor, who subsequently murdered his abusive parents and served 12 years in state prison on manslaughter charges. While behind bars, he vowed vengeance--and equipped himself to take it. Victor dropped from sight after parole, but three women subsequently met exotic ends on February 14, one in an unmarked grave (earth) and the others in a seemingly tragic skiing mishap (wind) and an apparently accidental blaze (fire). Oblivious Jill, who's not kept up with her former chums, is last on the madman's list. Eventually panicked into action by further messages that her end is near, the novelist, who's being spied upon by an unknown observer, hires a private detective. Convinced of her peril after his preliminary investigation, Jill flees to a remote writers' colony to wait out Valentine's Day. She doesn't disclose the hideaway's location on Long Island Sound even to her lover, a rising artist known as Nate Levin, but the villain will have no trouble finding the jolted Jill. . . . A stylish literary entertainment in which the resourceful Savage plays completely fair (or almost) with readers impatient for an immediate solution to his crafty puzzle.

Pub Date: Feb. 5, 1996


Page Count: 336

Publisher: "Little, Brown"

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 1995