THE COUNSELLOR HEART by Pauline Glen Winslow

THE COUNSELLOR HEART

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Scotland Yard's Merle Capricorn (The Witch Hill Murder, Coppergold, etc.) has two cases on his mind here, and, as usual when that happens in mysteries, they'll connect up. . . however arbitrarily. His official case is the mutilation-murder of a ""Fawn"" (a British, sleazier version of a Playboy Bunny) named Muffy Mirro. But his heart belongs to the kidnap case of Mrs. Bridey Lawdon, much-beloved wife of a cop; terrorists have grabbed her (mistakenly thinking she was her famous sister-in-law) and are making the usual demands. So Merle's pulse begins to quicken when his investigation of the murder leads to the fringes of terrorism: the son of the Arab financier behind the Fawn Clubs was a suitor of Muffy's and is an Islamic fanatic (an arms cache is found in the financier's basement); Muffy's acquaintances have included some suspicious international types. None of this, however, actually leads to the rescue of Bridey; that's accomplished because Merle agrees to consort with a notorious IRA figure (Bridey's beloved cousin) who has inside scoops on all sorts of terrorism. And finally there's a corny finale where dear, just-rescued Bridey (whom we've seen in snatches of captivity throughout) sacrifices herself for one of the terrorists. Some nice moments along the way (the sleazy Fawn scene is well-done), but this is Winslow's weakest work yet--over-busy, distressingly sentimental, sometimes tedious (in subplots about Merle's eccentric Aunties). A murky departure for a writer who's best in clean-focused, traditional formats.

Pub Date: Oct. 3rd, 1980
Publisher: St. Martin's