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NO WAY HOME by Andrew Coburn

NO WAY HOME

by Andrew Coburn

Pub Date: July 13th, 1992
ISBN: 0-525-93470-7
Publisher: Dutton

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 scam 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 down 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.