HEIR APPARENT by Kate Coscarelli


Email this review


 A snappy, fast-breaking mystery/suspense in which a daughter and deposed heir to a California food consortium survives a brace of murders, heavy police suspicion, the terror of a stalker, and a final calamitous showdown. Loving her work and always assured that she would run Gallagher's Best, a food megacorp, Lacey Gallagher--divorced from husband Steve Haines and mother of teenaged Erin and J.J.--is astounded by the terms of her late father's will: her brother Scott, a charming, pleasure-loving loafer--who prefers money over running a business--is to inherit and run Gallagher's; Lacey, on the other hand, will get plenty of moolah. The siblings come to a mutually satisfying agreement--in secret--but the next day Scott is found murdered in the bed he shared with third wife Sasha. Among those interviewed by a police duo (one thinks Lacey did it, the other doesn't) are: disagreeable Sasha; bitter Jean Atwill, former executive secretary who spills a devastating secret; and even Mary, Scott's first wife, who has a surprise in store. Meanwhile, Lacey does her own snooping, and ex-hubby Steve comes up from his ranch in Texas to offer comfort before the funeral--and another murder. Lacey, in her frenzied searches and speculations, will outdistance the cops--but they'll be on hand when it counts. Even after she fingers the murderer, there are miles to go as the killer tries underwater homicide, and a brace of baddies blast away in a greenhouse. A chewy enough mystery and a good stalker finish, all paced by a rivulet of businesslike dialogue and classy digs. The people are bland, but who cares? Coscarelli (the sudsy Leading Lady, 1991, etc.) seems to have hit her stride with suspense/action.

Pub Date: July 27th, 1993
ISBN: 0-312-09305-5
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 1993