MILK AND HONEY by Faye Kellerman


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When Glendale cop Peter Decker finds a two-year-old playing outside a housing development at one in the morning, with blood all over her clothes, he canvasses the neighborhood, can't find anyone who knows her, but bee stings on the child's body lead him to the Darcy bee farm--and a quadruple homicide. Dead are little Katie's mom, Linda; her dad Luke; his sister, Carla; and a lusty stud-biker from down the road. How did Katie get from the farm to the housing development? Her other relatives--old Pappy, nutty Granny, retarded Earl, and semi-sensible Sue Beth--were at a motel 20 miles away. As Decker and his partners probe further, they find that Linda played around, that all the men she dallied with had lots of kids, and that she and her husband cost Pappy a fortune at the fertility clinic. Also: half the clan wanted to sell the farm to a real-estate developer, and half wanted to hold on. Finally, Earl confesses, but Decker doesn't buy it, and then the full, awful story of an obsession finally comes out. The Tobacco Road quality of the Darcys, the sexual foibles of Decker's orthodox Jewish girlfriend's family (including attempted rape by her brother-in-law), and the sexual taunts of Decker's one-legged Vietnam vet friend Abel (directed at the religious Rina) make this an uneasy read, though judicious pruning would have helped. Overlong, somewhat overwrought, and just barely skirting the clichÉd.

Pub Date: April 19th, 1990
Publisher: Morrow