Pseudonymous Jordan (Cat's Eyes, Criss Cross) spins a damsel-in-distress tale whose heroine is dogged by drug dealers, rival drug dealers, a man determined to avenge his sister's death, and the murderer of her father and his lover many years ago. Dewy former actress Jo Townsend, returning home from her London antique shop, where a man in a red-and-white parka's been watching her and her sister Flora, finds her flat tossed by a man who beats her, threatens her, and tells her to tell Mike that Willi's been there. When Jo passes this news on to her husband Mike, he tells her Willi is after a costly pre-Columbian statue he'd, well, stolen and smuggled out of Peru, and insists she take the figure to her family's deserted house in the south of France, where her father and his paramour were killed years ago. Jo eventually realizes that Roger Maillet, the handsome journalist she meets on the road, is the man in the parka; but little does she know that the convicted killer, Marcel Drac, has just been released from prison and had made a beeline for her own destination--or that her resolution never to return there is about to be nightmarishly justified. Everyone except Jo is hiding some dread secret, and it's only natural for the principals--with some help from a fortuitous pair of neighborhood gypsies--to start biffing and killing each other until the long-foreseen (except by sweetly dense Jo) fade-out. Jordan's understated style avoids clichÃ‰, but her ramshackle plotting doesn't; the menace is far too epidemic to take seriously.