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How can you tell that Miami lawyer Gail Connor is being lied to again? Because her ears are open, as they are to no avail throughout this fourth round of her legal-cum-domestic travails. At first Gail thinks the metallic-sounding voice threatening her over the phone must belong to Payton Cunningham, the neighborhood kid she chased out of her yard after he kissed her daughter Karen, 11. But would a teenager really identify himself as Death, send her doctored photographs threatening Karen and herself, as well as roses offering condolences for Karen’s (nonexistent) death accompanied by a card signed by Gail’s murdered sister Renee, or decapitate Karen’s pet kitten? No kid could have such an animus, Gail decides. But if the perp isn’t Payton, who is? The field of apparently innocuous men surrounding Gail—men who suddenly reveal potentially murderous depths beneath their smiling surfaces—is worthy of Mary Higgins Clark. There’s Wendell Sweet, the oilman husband who’s doing his best to divorce Gail’s earthy client without leaving her a cent. There’s Simon Yancey, the disgruntled victim of a mortgage foreclosure Gail handled years back. There’s Charlie Jenkins, the contractor who magically turned up one day to work on restoring the house Gail’s purchased with her fiancÇ, well-connected Cuban attorney Anthony Quintana (Suspicion of Deceit, 1998). There’s Hector Mesa, the sinister friend and courier to the Pedrosas, Anthony’s wealthy family. And for good measure, there’s Anthony himself, looking awfully hot-headed now that there’s pressure on his bride-to-be, and Dave Metzger, Gail’s ex, who’s bobbed up from his Caribbean sojourn to sue Gail for custody of Karen. All right, the real culprit isn’t worth a second shudder. Until the disappointing denouement, though, Parker piles on the menace with all the smooth efficiency of the storied Pedrosas. (Author tour)

Pub Date: April 5th, 1999
ISBN: 0-525-94468-0
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Dutton
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