BLOOD RELATIONS by Barbara Parker


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A high-profile rape case lands the prosecuting attorney in more trouble than the victim or the defendants ever dreamed of. Rookie model Ali Duncan, 17, sure didn't pick the right people to get assaulted by: her former lover George Fonseca, ex-footballer Marquis Lamont, and moneyed boutique owner Klaus Ruffini. Handed this hot potato by a see-no-evil Florida state's attorney, Miami prosecutor Sam Hagen presses for indictments, and in no time at all--okay, it takes practically forever--his key witness, pretty-boy model Charlie Sullivan, is murdered. Can Sam make a case with a dead witness and a victim who's only too eager to drop her complaint for a fat Ruffini settlement--and who's no poster girl anyway? It may not matter, because the next victim is George Fonseca. Sam doesn't realize (though the gentle reader will) that the murders have less to do with what happened to Ali Duncan than what happened a year ago to Sam's son Matthew, a.k.a. aspiring model Stavros, a rebellious kid who mixed liquor, drugs, and his new motorcycle into a suicidal cocktail. As Sam drifts away from his obsessively grieving wife Dina and back into the arms of his onetime lover Caitlin Dom, a model-turned-fashion-photographer who's survived as long as she has by knowing all the wrong people, Sam's former partner in war and work, Frank Tolin, warns Sam that Caitlin knows more than she's ever admitted about Matthew's death. But does Sam listen? And will he deserve everything he gets? Parker (Suspicion of Guilt, p. 18, etc.) moves toward Dominick Dunne's soapy territory, but without Dunne's (or Parker's own previous) knack of keeping the story clear and compelling by taming subplots and keeping minor characters vivid and distinct. A painfully obvious snoozer.

Pub Date: Feb. 19th, 1996
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Dutton