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GRACE POINT by Anne D. LeClaire


by Anne D. LeClaire

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1992
ISBN: 0-670-84327-X
Publisher: Viking

 A tight, bright novel of suspense--LeClaire's hardcover debut- -that jumps back and forth between the present and the 1940's, when violence erupted (in the shadows) in a Massachusetts coastal town. And, now, a newly moved couple fear for the safety of their children. Their baby is kidnapped, and there are hints of horror from 50 years before. It's appropriately on Allhallows' Eve that Zoe, living with husband Jake and five-year-old Emily and baby Adam, makes a terrible discovery in the attic of the house owned by her oddly remote mother, Tory. In old boxes wrapped in newspaper are skeletons of what turn out to be four babies, who must have died 50 years ago. Then, while Zoe paints at her easel, brooding about her estrangement from Jake--the good father who (he claims) did not really have an affair with a teenage baby sister in their former home--Adam disappears. Meanwhile, back in the 40's, Rosalina Santos, always under a cloud because her mother has left her father--a foul crime in their Portuguese fishing community--vows to be a good and faithful wife to stolid Joaquin. But she can't withstand the lure of the fiery seduction of a visiting famous novelist. He'll leave her, however, when she becomes pregnant. Even shelter with an eccentric ``poetess'' after a terrible beating cannot spare Rosalina from retribution to come--the same sort of retribution given to a young man who didn't conform. And a baby will die. In the present, Zoe and Jake and two policemen travel up blind alleys; a sinister old man with one arm lurks; and old scandals surface. A sound, well-crafted mystery and punchy melodrama.