IF I SHOULD DIE by M.R. Henderson

IF I SHOULD DIE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Eleven years ago, teenager Kathy Gerrett was lured away from her miserable Oregon home by psycho Matt Briggs--who then went on a three-week robbery/murder spree (with Kathy's father and brother among the victims); Briggs went to jail for life, Kathy served five years for being an (unwitting) accomplice. But now Kathy is the happy wife of journalist Elliot, the contented mother of four-year-old Jeffrey. Until--guess what? That's right: when would-be novelist Elliot goes to N.Y. on business, leaving Kathy and Jeffrey alone in their mountain retreat, ""Mad Dog"" Briggs escapes from prison, tracks Kathy down, and abducts the mother-and-son--intent on reliving those good old murder-spree days, obsessed with ""promises"" that Kathy made to him, and headed by car for Yellowstone National Park (scene of the bygone murders). There's predictable on-the-road terror for Kathy and Jeffrey; there's even more predictable action in N.Y. and L.A. for husband Elliot, who's leading the chase efforts. And first-novelist Henderson adds unnecessary flashbacks here and there: scenes from that nightmare eleven years ago--including the sexual relationship between innocent Kathy and impotent, kinky Mad Dog. Exploitation-suspense of the most derivative, crudely obvious, and faceless sort--complete with prefab showdown and earnestly upbeat fadeout. (""I'm going to make sure she and Jeff don't hang on to any guilt this time,"" says Elliot. ""We're all going to a counselor as soon as they're well."")

Pub Date: May 24th, 1985
Publisher: Doubleday