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 Messy, overplotted third volume in Parker's Suspicion series (Suspicion of Guilt, 1995, etc.) continues the travails of Miami lawyer Gail Connor. Now on her own in a one-woman practice, Connor isn't getting many clients but is enjoying the low-key joys of taking her daughter to soccer games and doing pro bono work for the Miami Opera while spending every night in the arms of her fiancÇ, Cuban-born supersuccessful defense lawyer Anthony Quintana. At a swank Opera soirÇe, Connor learns that tenor Tom Nolan, who's booked to open the season, did a series of recitals two years before in Cuba. Though most of the ever-so-sleazy rich folks on the Opera's board couldn't care less about their star's employment history, the city's large population of anti-Castro Cuban refugees might well take offense. Quintana, hoping to be nothing more than Connor's escort, finds himself questioned by board members who are afraid that Quintana's brother-in-law, rabble-rousing anti-Castro radio talk-show host Octavio Reyes, might rally his listeners against them, possibly with the backing of Quintana's vehemently anti-Communist grandfather. While Quintana mutters about not being his brother-in-law's keeper, Connor discovers that her fiancÇ not only harbored Marxist sympathies 20 years previously, but accompanied some of the very same board members on an ill-fated pilgrimage to Nicaragua to help the Sandinistas, a trip resulting in the murder of Quintana's old American girlfriend by a Somozan thug. But was Quintana in any way responsible for her death? Parker plays on Connor's fears about her fiancÇ's past while an assassin picks off members of the Opera board, all of whom have some connection to the Nicaraguan misadventure. The climax, in which Connor stalls for time by persuading the killer to play an opera recording, is too silly for words. All this, and piles of politically correct palaver about Miami's misunderstood Cuban exiles. Even Parker's fans might put this one down.

Pub Date: Jan. 2nd, 1998
ISBN: 0-525-94401-X
Page count: 368pp
Publisher: Dutton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 1997


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