AFTER-IMAGE by Leona Gom


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 Vicky Bauer, part American Indian, lives with her much older, German-born husband Conrad near the Canadian Army base at Lahr, Germany. Conrad is an exchange teacher at an Army school; Vicky struggles to write her M.A. thesis on women in filmdom and to stay off the booze that's earned her a reputation as unreliable. One day, stopping to take pictures driving a bicycle ride through the woods, Vicky sees a man in an army uniform shoot his companion--a blond woman wearing a pearl-embroidered sweater. No body or blood traces are found by the military police, to whom Vicky reports the incident. Meanwhile, Andrew Pilski, a captain married to Annie, Vicky's best friend and confidante, promises, perfunctorily, to investigate. Conrad, whose German roots seem to be unpleasantly asserting themselves, appears detached, even when someone drives a car into Vicky, on her bike, causing minor injuries. There will be an unsigned threatening note, a stolen photograph, Vicky's sighting of another woman wearing an identical sweater to the murdered woman's at the same spot in the woods, and a lot more, before Vicky, her life on the line, is saved in a last-second rescue that raises more questions than it answers. A troubled prickly heroine whose musings run the psychobabble gamut in a competently written story by Gom (The Y Chromosome, not reviewed) with a downbeat aura and an unhackneyed background more compelling than its convoluted plot.

Pub Date: Oct. 9th, 1996
ISBN: 0-312-14537-3
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 1996