SUSPICION OF MALICE by Barbara Parker

SUSPICION OF MALICE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Miami lawyer Gail Connor squares off against her ex-fiancé Anthony Quintana in the fifth volume of this interchangeably titled series (Suspicion of Betrayal, 1999, etc.).

After Roger Cresswell, do-nothing Executive VP of Cresswell Yachts, is shot dead in the middle of a spirited party on the family estate, Gail’s old nemesis Sgt. Frank Britton naturally overlooks all the family members present to fix on Bobby Gonzalez, East Harlem tough guy/ballet dancer, who was working at the party even though Roger had just fired him from his job at the boating yard. Bobby’s girlfriend Angela Quintana swears that he couldn’t have been the killer, but she doesn’t want to tell her old-world father that part of Bobby’s alibi depends on her. So Gail goes instead after the rest of Bobby’s alibi, Nate Harris, a criminal judge he talked to at the party, and finds that (1) Harris, hopeful of a job on the federal bench, doesn’t want to tell the cops he was smoking weed with this kid; and (2) doggone if Harris isn’t Anthony Quintana’s friend and client as well. It’s a lucky thing that Angela and the judge give Gail and Anthony grounds for endless skirmishes, because the real suspects are a dull lot: Roger’s gold-digging widow Nikki; his parents Claire and Porter (the stuffy company president); Porter’s brother Dub (director of sales) and his wife Elizabeth; Dub’s and Liz’s children Sean and Diane (the only Cresswell with an ounce of decency, outsiders maintain); and Claire’s nephew, low-end art dealer Jack Pascoe. Longtime fans will know enough to forget the family’s dueling alibis and canned secrets, which recall Agatha Christie at her weariest, and focus on Gail and Anthony as they revisit the gender battles of the ’70s —or the Neanderthal Era.

Sadly, the killer’s revealed just as the lovers have resolved their differences. The last thirty pages might as well be blank.

Pub Date: May 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-525-94542-3
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Dutton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2000




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