THE FORETELLING by Caroline Crane


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Crane has served up workable little jolts of rudimentary suspense in the past (Wife Found Dead, The Girls Are Missing), but this occult-tinged modern gothic is a step backwards--into limp, murky implausibility. The droopy heroine here is young Angela Dawn of Burley's Falls, N.Y., a Fabian Construction Co. employee who agrees to run the fortune-telling booth at a charity fair; after all, Angela's eccentric old grandma is a palm-reader of local repute. But, as in many a juvenile-level melodrama, Angela's amateurish predictions start coming true soon after the fair--starting with the cliff-fall death of Marcia Wollsey, fiancÉe to ambitious young Glen Fabian. And Angela's fretting merely escalates once Glen woos her, impregnates her, and marries her. Are the predictions really infallible? Or is someone (namely Macbeth-like Glen) causing all these bad things--e.g., the deaths of Glen's father and uncles--to happen? The answer is made painfully obvious, with Angela (now the mother of two) mewing and trembling ad infinitum. So, in other words, this is the old Rebecca/Suspicion routine yet again--half-heartedly recycled and only very slightly juiced up by the vague hocus-pocus (which will, however, interest those hooked on palmistry).

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1982
Publisher: Dodd, Mead