From the author of The Killing of Karen Silkwood, (1981), Escape from Sobibor (1982), and Stormy Genius (1985), another chronicle fraught with melodrama--this one the story of how deserted mom Pat Bennett tracked down her deadbeat husband. Pat's ex-Marine husband, Gene, had a habit of staying out nights during her three pregnancies. When she finally confronted him during her third pregnancy, he turned on his heels and walked out--and, after making a few court-ordered support payments, headed south. While Pat was able to keep tabs on him through his second marriage, after a while his trail disappeared. Gene's foster parents even had him declared legally dead in order to collect on his insurance policy. But when Pat tried to get the Social Security Administration to do the same in order for her kids to qualify for dependent children support, she ran into a bureaucratic brick wall. Providentially, while going through social-security files to prepare her case, Pat noticed that no one had thought to contact Gene's second wife in Louisiana. She did, and was able to pick up his trail once more--he had changed his name and discarded two more wives and several jobs. Currently, Pat has a case pending in the Florida State Supreme Court to collect $100,000 in back child, support payments; a decision is due near the end of 1988. This novelistic depiction of one instance of a common and often devastating crime makes for a solid, gripping read--and shines as a prime choice for TV-movie adaptation.