EARTH ANGEL by Raymond Obstfeld


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In the latest rambling yam from Obstfeld (The Joker and the Thief, 1993), alias Laramie Dunaway (Lessons in Survival, 1994, etc.), a young physician leaves her clinic after a series of disasters, hits the road, gives away a fortune, and ultimately nabs both a serial killer and a husband. Season Gottlieb can't seem to pass a quiet afternoon no matter how hard she tries. After her miscarriage, her overachiever surgeon fianc‚ declines rapidly and tries to shake himself out of depression by gunning down a waiting room full of Season's patients. Season, who is already down in the dumps over the miscarriage, becomes a bit blue herself, after the bloodbath, but attempts to even out the score by trekking cross-country to give 50 grand to each of the victims' next-of-kin. Her intentions are good, but simple charity is rarely that; Season soon raises her stakes, first by sleeping with most of the male survivors she calls upon and then by interposing herself into their private lives. This gets her into big trouble when a serial killer crosses her path, but Season finds a way to dispose of him properly and hang onto her new man, the widower of one of her fianc‚'s victims. Meanwhile, Obstfeld offers a killing dose of adventure, served up scalding from the cauldron. But while his smart-alecky voice and whiz-bang tone -- ""Our kissing lips made wet smacking noises like popping gum."" -- would be perfect Marvel Comics, they overload what is, in fact, a longish novel and impart almost no focus whatever. Tediously episodic and overdone.

Pub Date: June 9th, 1995
Page count: 400pp
Publisher: Warner