SPEAK FOR THE DEAD by Margaret York
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The author takes a sharp look at British justice--and some seamy closet-skeletons --in a smartly plotted stow about two misfits. Lazy, bullying Gordon Matthews had killed his patient, timid wife Anne, in a fit of temper; but by maligning her character, he had served a manslaughter sentence of only a few years. Now out of jail, he's moved to another town and is soon married to young Carrie Foster--the shrewd, good-natured but greedy daughter of a large, poor family who's not above a little theft and prostitution to get what she wants. Matthews tells her nothing of his past, claims to be divorced, and has no interest in his two young children who live with his dead wife's parents, Mary and Oliver Randall. The Randalls have rebuilt their lives, told their grandchildren that both parents were killed in a car crash, and live in fear of Matthews' release and with unceasing hatred for his lies about Anne. Meanwhile, for reasons undefined even to himself, Oliver hires ex-cop, now P.I. Michael West to track down Matthews after his release. Michael is soon aware that his quarry's career and new marriage are fast heading for the rocks--but no one could anticipate the dramatic events that will eventually make the punishment fit the crime. Yorke's prolific output can be uneven (Intimate Kill, etc.), but she's at her best here--with solid motivations, sensitively explored characters, and a plot that intrigues to the last page.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1988
Publisher: Viking