COAST OF FEAR by Caroline Crane

COAST OF FEAR

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Crane has done fairly well with mild terror in suburbia (Summer Girl, The Girls Are Missing)--but here she goes floppily astray, with a sub-routine damselin-distresser that seems to have been inspired by Agatha Christie's very weakest 1920s spy stories. Jessica Hayden, just out of college and touring Europe on the cheap, heads for Nice--to visit the family of her recently deceased roommate Francoise Lannier, apparent victim of a campus mugger. But was Francoise really killed, perhaps, by a mysterious pre-murder visitor named Weyland, who now seems to be following Jessica? And why does the cheerful young stranger on Jessica's train-salesman Steve from Cleveland (who calls Jessica ""dearie"")--urge her not to visit Francoise's family? And what about the enigmatic photograph entrusted to Jessica by Francoise, or the burglary of Jessica's hotel-room in Nice, or the explosive goings-on at the Lannier perfume factory? And so on . . . as Jessica is threatened by Weyland, romanced by Francoise's brother Marius (who calls her ""Zhessica""), then abducted, trussed up, shanghai'ed, rescued, and finally thrown into a showdown with the Yemen-terrorism mastermind known as ""El Jefe."" (He's Steve from Cleveland, of course, as any Christie veteran will know instantaneously.) Harmless, with some dabs of rudimentary sightseeing-but painfully flat and predictable.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1981
Publisher: Dodd, Mead