A REAL SHOT IN THE ARM by Annette Roome

A REAL SHOT IN THE ARM

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Housewife-turned-reporter Chris Martin, sent to cover a conference on substance abuse at a posh hotel, finds a jarring note--a corpse hanging from the hotel balcony-in this appealing debut, winner of Britain's John Creasey Award for best first novel of 1989. With a real talent for rooting her intrigue in the dreary routine of smalltown life, Roome shows her heroine not only uncovering nasty secrets--the late Michael Stoddart, actually killed by a heroine overdose, was a blackmailer who knew about Dr. John Goodman's first wife and daughter; the connection between his second wife, Dr. Rachel, and another victim of drug overdose; Elaine Randall's sexual indiscretions; Major Bruce Duncton's links to Leisching Pharmeceutical's development schemes; restauranteur Eric De Broux's well-hidden [inks to the conference participants; and the corruption among Inspector Franks's men in blue--but also coming home from a day at the Herald and uneasy dreams of romance to domestic versions of the same problems: the indifference of her husband reminds her how tempting an illicit affair would be; her self-congratulations about her model son Richard are interrupted by the news that Richard's just been busted for possession; even meetings of the neighborhood zoning board lead right back to the murder. The plot is ordinary, but the heroine's fresh, original voice makes this a less upscale--and less slick--British version of Compromising Positions right up to its perfect last sentence.

Pub Date: Dec. 28th, 1990
Publisher: Crown