NO WAY HOME by Andrew Coburn

NO WAY HOME

By
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KIRKUS REVIEW

This comes on like a police procedural, but don't be fooled: Coburn (The Babysitter, Goldilocks, etc.) is actually using homicide as an excuse to peer under the window shades of another of his New England towns. Why would a sniper shoot Flo Lapham, and incidentally cause her husband Earl to suffer a fatal coronary, as they sat inoffensively in their backyard? Bensington, Mass., police chief James Morgan figures the killer must have been aiming for Flo's daughter Lydia, a nurse who was informally engaged to Officer Matt MacGregor, as a way of getting at Matt. But Morgan takes time out from his legendary dalliances with the well-groomed wives of the Heights--Sissy Alexander, Arlene Bowman, and Christine Poole--to question earnest, irresponsible Rev. Austin Stottle, tightfisted Selectman Randolph Jackson, and the three no-account Rayballs (Korea vet Clement--a.k.a. Chico in his alter ego as a lounge lizard who brings moments of joy to aging ladies--his retarded brother Junior, and Papa, long suspected of killing his wife years ago). What he finds is enough untidy passion--even without the news that Lydia had turned down Matt's marriage proposal or the revelation of a bank seam involving his favorite cuckolds Gerald Bowman and Calvin Poole--to motivate a dozen murders. Instead of tracking down the killer, though, Morgan seems more intent on bedding clown with Lydia. Weird. Forget the on-again, off-again plot: the real treat here is the fun-house gallery of sad-eyed loonies, from patently crazy Junior to the townsfolk, whose normalcy is only relative.

Pub Date: July 13th, 1992
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Dutton