OUT OF ORDER by Bonnie MacDougal


Email this review


MacDougal’s third (Angle of Impact, 1998, etc.) finds the author in ripping form, her writing keener and more glamorous than ever. Center-stage this time is a self-made Philadelphia lawyer who marries into fashionable Wilmington society, only to find herself in a world she never knew and facing an aspect of her husband she never suspected. Campbell Smith, whose specialty is tracing assets in divorce cases, has no hint that one reason she was pursued to the altar by fellow lawyer Doug Alexander after her Philadelphia firm merged with Doug’s smaller Delaware firm was that she came to him with no baggage from the past that would have to be overcome politically. For Doug’s old family friend Senator Ashton Ramsey suddenly announces at their fancy country wedding reception that Doug is the Party’s choice to run in November for the US House of Representatives. Campbell, though stunned, can’t understand why the Party has chosen Doug, a self-effacing real-estate lawyer of middling charm, but no great candidate. On the way to the reception she has happened to see Senator Ramsey’s 13-year-old son, Trey, on a wilding spree, knocking over country mailboxes; and this very evening Trey is kidnaped while secretary Gloria Lipton of Campbell and Doug’s firm is abducted, raped and murdered. Cam says that Gloria’s an orphan whose parents were murdered by Muslims in the Philippines. But does her brutal murder have something to do with Cam—who may have baggage after all that could compromise Doug’s run? And why does Senator Ramsey show more concern for politics than for his missing son? Then Doris Palumbo, an associate of Gloria’s, is murdered too, followed by Joan Truesdale, who’d also been part of—well, let’s not say. The gore aside, MacDougal writes with heart, Cam being a character who bears real feelings, not only the burdens of melodrama. Even the ending avoids standard showdown clichÇs. Bravo.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-345-43444-7
Page count: 400pp
Publisher: Ballantine
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 1999