PLAYING SAFE by Eileen Dewhurst


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Another of the author's Byzantine plots (Curtain Call, etc.) gives Us frustrated actress Helen Johnson, wife of British secret-agent Julian, who recruits her to play the part of Fiona Spencer, fey but harmless patient left for a week in the care of Hartshorn Manor, a psychiatric hospital. M.I. 5 is convinced that this is where physicist Dr. Susan Bakewell is being held by Soviet agents, and Helen is to get the proof. But pity the secret service forced to use amateurs like our heroine. She fails to pick up childlike signals sent by another patient--CIA agent Geoffrey--and blames her morning sickness on poisoning until the nurses inform her that she's pregnant! A bungling climax is precipitated by Julian's kidnapping and Helen's telephone call to a backup which starts ""Rice Crispies here. . ."" Dewhurst's sleek writing style deserves a disciplined, even moderately believable scenario. This isn't it.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1987
Publisher: Doubleday