An English woman flees from her demented American husband--as suspense-chase mixes uneasily with pastoral-accented romance in rural France. English journalist Army has just arrived, wan and frightened, to join her family in their French vacation cottage: there's nice brother Bren, his jaunty live-in gift friend Mairi, and widowed mother Lilia. We then learn, in dribs and drabs, why Anny's so wan: back in N.Y., beloved journalist-husband Steve went berserk in the shower, ""holding something in one of his upraised hands, something which gleamed. . . ."" So, now in France among pleasant people, Army tries to smother her terrors. She's bemused by mother Lilia, who's somehow prettier and happier than she ever was in her meekly passive years with her martinet husband. . . and has herself a ""friend""--attractive Richard, eight years younger than she. But Richard is immediately attracted to Army, as an uprush of desire noises out the gentle respect and affection he feels for Lilia: they'll become lovers. And meanwhile silly Anny keeps her travails all to herself, making transatlantic calls to Steve's psychiatrist, even to his cannibalizing mother. Then, of course, Steve inevitably looms up in France (predictably when Anny is AH Alone); and there's a satisfying race against time and death, plus final romantic pairings (including Lilia's with a widow friend). Talky romance, workable suspense--a forgettable hybrid.