BLOODTIES by Gloria Murphy


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From Murphy (Nightshade, 1987), a perfectly dreary little suspense novel about a mixed-up young man who does go home again. Three-year-old Kevin Mathews is kidnapped in 1971 from a park near his home in Brookline, Mass., never to be seen again. His mother Chris is so pitiably deranged by the abduction that her husband Neil arranges for the body of an unidentified infant to be buried in lieu of Kevin, just to deceive Chris into healthy mourning and forgetfulness. But Kevin lives! He's been taken by a fiendish child-abuser named Fletcher, renamed David Crane, and abused for 14 years. In 1985, at age 17, Kevin/David finishes high school, kills (he thinks) Fletcher, and returns to Brookline to seek out his family--and it just so happens the Mathews couple (who now have a 13-year-old daughter, Erin) have a Room To Let sign in the window--and it just so happens that mother Chris is crazy enough to let a sullen stranger into her home. The singularly unappealing David keeps the secret of his identity long enough to let the author work in some textbookish psychobabble about abused children, and toy rather distastefully with a vaguely delineated incest theme; but when Chris says, ""Oh, Neil, I have the most peculiar feeling. As if suddenly all the things in our lives are going to change,"" truer words were never simpered: Fletcher is discovered alive, David 'fesses up, and the Mathews are a family once again: ""Kevin?"" "" Mom?"" Awful.

Pub Date: Aug. 14th, 1987
Publisher: Donald Fine