USED TO KILL by Lillian O'Donnell


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Private investigator Gwenn Ramadge, the author's newest heroine (A Wreath for the Bride, 1990), is trying to find the truth behind the death of businessman Douglas Trent, bludgeoned to death in his elegant Queens home. His beautiful young second wife, Emma, a dance teacher, is suspected by the police and by Trent's Toronto-based son Jonathan. Her alibi seems ironclad, but abe hires Gwenn to conduct an independent probe. Meanwhile, the police have hauled in two of Emma's students--members of the high-school basketball team she teaches; one of them is a drug-user. The case seems closed, but there's more--much more--as Douglas Trent's secret life comes to light; the two suspects pay a heavy fine for their involvement; Emma is once more under a cloud; and Gwenn worries at the case until every last detail is revealed. The plot is complex but believable, the characters and dialogue a bit wooden, and Gwenn herself is less appealing than O'Donnell's best creation--policewoman Norah Mulcahaney--but the zigs and zags here will hold the reader to the final surprising twist.

Pub Date: Jan. 5th, 1993
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: Putnam