A lackluster modern love story by the author of Relative Sins (1992). ""Oh, God, it's you,"" moans badly wounded Detective Lieutenant Carlin Squire as she looks up, half-conscious, from the operating table at Mercy Hospital to see trauma surgeon Ben Dameroff. Flashback to 1966 and Westerfield, N.Y., a depressed town not far from Albany. Ben and Carlin are two smart kids from the projects, antagonists at first, who grow up to be lovers. But the course of true love never runs smooth, especially if your families are dysfunctional and your parents' dreams haven't come true. When Ben's sister Natasha discovers that their mother and Carlin's dad are having an affair, she plays a prank that kills one and cripples the other. Ben and Carlin each blame the other's parent and split up. He goes on to become a surgeon, working his way through school playing poker; she wins a scholarship to Harvard, then becomes a police detective, called Cambridge by the other cops. He's very handsome and has lovers. She's very successful and lives with a philandering British fashion photographer. Natasha becomes a supermodel and marries a world-famous film director. Everyone lives in New York City. Ben and Carlin come together again, only to be separated when Natasha murders the villain, another Westerfield alumnus, who has been blackmailing her into sordid, dehumanizing sex. The plot resolves sadly, then happily. Ben and Carlin, true survivors, travel upstate for a family funeral, reunite, and vow undying devotion. Victor examines the ways that parents help or hurt their children's futures; filial loyalty and disappointment make up the truest parts of her narrative, but the bulk of it is fairly lifeless, even for a genre in which no one is looking for an excess of novelty. The Platters did it better.