Convinced that her handsome, successful psychologist father murdered her beautiful, successful psychologist mother, Eve Paris calls her college friend Thea Kozak for help. It's a poor choice, because once Thea goes into her attack mode, she never backs down--and except for confirmation that Clifford Paris was indeed involved with one of his interns, Dr. Rowan Ansel, nothing Thea finds out indicates that Cliff was the killer. So Thea has to juggle three balls at once: First, there's Cliff, who wants to hire her consulting firm but is a little put off by her obvious suspicion of him as a wife-killer; then there are all the petty satellites around Cliff who are determined to accuse or protect him without any evidence; and finally there's Thea's old friend Eve, who keeps accusing Thea of letting her down. On the domestic front, Thea's lover, Andre Lemieux, wants--well, he wants more commitment, but he's not ready for marriage--okay, he doesn't know what he wants, except more or nothing. And when Thea fires an incompetent employee and refuses to submit to the threat of a sexual harassment suit, her office (and, eventually, her house) heat up as dangerously as the case does. In only her second novel, Flora (Chosen for Death, 1994) turns in a remarkably assured performance--a nonstop psychological slugfest that bears out her heroine's dry-eyed self-portrait: ``I don't suffer from PMS. I just have a mean streak.''