Sarah Flynn Hoyt, after six divorced years, is a newlywed again at 40--happily married to English-teacher Adam; her three teenaged kids are normal enough, California-style; and her career as a paperback-mystery-writer is going along well, nothwithstanding a recent case of writer's block. Then, however, as avid runner Sarah gets into training for a marathon, things start going sour--and gothicky. Adam is mugged by a masked young man while out getting ice cream at Baskin-Robbins. The family cat turns up dead--as does the new family dog, acquired as part of Adam's post-mugging mania for security. Someone, it seems, is breaking into the house at night and stealing small items--including the manuscript of Sarah's new novel, which happens to end with a Sarah-like character getting murdered at the marathon. Worst of all, someone tries to kill Sarah while she's out running. So: who's the homicidal psycho? Is it really a stranger? Or is it one of the handymen working on Sarah's house? Or a fawning reporter? Or the preppy boyfriend of Sarah's daughter Phoebe? Or husband Adam himself--who might have made up the whole mugger story? (Sarah's kids opt for the Adam/Gaslight theory.) The un-scary, not-very-plausible solution comes at the peak of the marathon run, of course--with a Sarah/killer grapple. But, though Abercrombie's authentic kid-talk and wry domestic details help to enliven the proceedings, this is very routine who's-the-maniac suspense: a harmless, unabashed descent into hackwork from the author of an intriguing, promising first novel, Good Riddance (1979).