Joe and Edie Baker run a lunchroom in California. They are about 30, but seem older, steady, anxious to be successful and respected. This is no longer possible when they take in Lorie, Edie's fifteen year old sister with a semi-delinquent record. And she meets Ken, a rich boy with an alcoholic, temperamental mother, who has been releasing his resentments by stealing, and who now falls in love with Lorie. He gives her a jade pendant-and asks her to hide a gun, both stolen. Joe too has fallen insanely in love with Lorie; he rapes her; sees the jade pendant; suspects its source and threatens to turn Ken in. Lorie, accidentally, shoots him with Ken's gun, and though Joe, dying, takes the blame, the book ends with everyone about to accept their own guilt.... This is a much better- than- average paper-back type of book, and though the plot tends to develop the characters, rather than vice versa, it is fast and readable and commendably skillful. Dariel Telfer's last book was The Caretakers.