A WORM OF DOUBT by M.R.D. Meek

A WORM OF DOUBT

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Here, sensitive, clear-thinking Lennox Kemp (In Remembrance of Rose, etc.) is improbably bamboozled by an avaricious, acerbic, divorce client whom he actively dislikes--yet who gives him persistent, annoying sexual twinges. Frelis Lorimer decides not to divorce David, who's besotted with his secretary, the dazzling Eileen, when told that the court will divvy up her personal assets, even though she's the injured party. Some weeks later, she invites Kemp to supper a deux, unnerves him with patter about his former wife Muriel, and then makes her pitch. Would he help her murder someone in exchange for keeping quiet about certain matters of the past? No, he would not, but, regardless, Eileen is soon dead in the Jacuzzi of the Watlingford Motel; David Lorimer is framed as the likeliest suspect; and Kemp, hooked by sex if not by logic and moral decency, says nothing to Inspector Upshire. Frelis, it seems, is well on her way to getting away with murder. Then come the plot skewers: Eileen's business partnership with her two cousins, Irish laddies Shawn and Dermot; her just-revealed pregnancy; 20,000 pounds recently deposited in her account; the fatal whack with a chair leg to motel-owner/indiscrete blackmailer Ronnie Foster-Yates; Frelis' abrupt departure from Kemp's waiting room; and a kidnapping of child-genius Alistair Lorimer, whose resourcefulness is delightful. The Irish boyos are accused of the murders, rural England settles down again, but there's a final twist--perhaps not unexpected but certainly uncomfortable for Kemp's integrity. Interesting premise, crisp writing; fanciers of the polite English mystery will be well satisfied.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1988
Publisher: Scribners