THE WATCHER by Kay Nolte Smith


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B-movie mystery melodrama--but a fairly engaging one, with a certain simpleminded grab. One balmy evening in Manhattan, humanitarian/philosopher and political adviser Dr. Martin Granger plunges from his townhouse terrace to his death on a sharp fence below. Did he fall or was he pushed? And what was the on-the-scene involvement of Astrid Cain, a secretary for Granger who is really (as Granger found out just before he died) a reporter writing an exposÉ of his dubious methods? (Astrid's husband David is a wealthy, wacky neurophysiologist who was scammed by Granger--and who has now disappeared.) The police investigating team is led by Paul Damon--a former lover of Astrid's when she was a Broadway actress and he was a freshman lawyer--and Paul discovers that Someone was watching that big, pre-death argument between Astrid and Granger. . . and saw whether or not he was pushed. Can the watcher be flushed from hiding? The watcher is indeed finally found--she's a once-thin and brilliant opera singer who was degraded into a mountain of fat by Granger--and, after other subplots are cleared up, there's a big trial scene with Damon defending Astrid. Tissue-thin characters and patchwork plotting--but fans of Madame X or Perry Mason may find some similar, high-strung satisfactions here.

Pub Date: March 10th, 1980
ISBN: 158445153X
Publisher: Coward, McCann & Geoghegan