DEADFALL by Patti Davis


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A rich young Calilifornia watercolorist discovers the joys of bodybuilding and the sadness of American involvement in Central America--in a tale of lost coastal innocence by Davis (Home Front, 1986), America's former first or perhaps second daughter. Darren Laverty's dreamy life in California turns nasty and unpleasant when her husband Andrew, a successful and prosperous but intellectually pure documentary-filmmaker, is asked to take a look at conditions in Nicaragua. Darren, sensing Danger, insists on traveling with him. They are both impressed by the dedication of the friends of the revolution, who are caring and nice, and they are both disturbed by the enemies of the revolution, who are creepy and sly. Soon after their arrival, Darren has has the un-coastal experience of seeing her instant friend Tica, an attractive and dedicated schoolteacher, blown up by a land mine. ""Tica esta mucrta,"" says a sad Darren to the little schoolchildren. And it's downhill from there. Somebody blanks out Andrew's film, and their guides seem to be less than trustworthy. Back in L.A., Darren, her nerves shattered, seeks comfort in her husband's gym and converts to fitness. When Andrew's Nicaraguan movies are stolen, he returns and films the particularly disgusting aftermath of a contra terrorist attack. Now really ticked-off at the forces of evil, he goes back home and meets with a sanctuary group in a church--where they are all blown to pieces by an anonymous bomber. The police don't seem properly interested in solving the crime, so it's up to Darren and her handsome new acquaintance--the senator from California--to get to the bottom of the matter. In addition to the anti-contra politics, the touching but not-too-awfully long scenes of urban and rural poverty--along with some non-procreative sex acts--are bound to spoil Mom and Dad's day. Margaret Truman will have to answer for this.

Pub Date: Oct. 13th, 1989
Publisher: Crown