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THE CLIMBING TREE by Carol McAfee

THE CLIMBING TREE

By Carol McAfee

Pub Date: May 9th, 1989
ISBN: 312-032560-2
Publisher: St. Martin's

A below-par first novel † la Mary Higgins Clark, in which Kate, an attractive Baltimore assistant district attorney, sends Slick, a vicious thug, to jail--only to have him escape and stalk her. Kate also: gets the goods on Judge Buckner, a two-time drunk driver, even though someone lifts the saloon tape that incriminates him and replaces it with a copy of The Great Gatsby; sidesteps the many proposals of her self-absorbed boss; falls in love with unhappily married psychiatrist Fielding, who is also treating her as a patient. Meanwhile, Judith, her secretive secretary, becomes her staunchest (too staunch?) ally when the thug closes in and someone seems to be following her. Trying to outrun the person she assumes is Slick, Kate dashes to her office building, is bashed from behind and carted off to the next-door building site, where she is left to die when they pour in the concrete foundation the next day. Pluck and perseverance save her--but the problem is: Slick was already in custody and didn't tie her up. Who did? The culprit has been creeping around for chapters and will come as no surprise--nor will the motive. Silly psychiatrist pap and far too much authorial finger-pointing at the guilty party. Still, a pleasantly menacing read for romantic-mystery readers.