THE SOUL OF BETTY FAIRCHILD by Robert Specht

THE SOUL OF BETTY FAIRCHILD

KIRKUS REVIEW

 Twenty-four years after a South Carolina girl was savagely killed and her presumed black assailant shot down, a young woman in New York is possessed by her vengeful spirit. Drew Summers, acting increasingly like the late Betty Fairchild, hunts up a therapist and checks into a hospital, only to take off almost immediately for Greenview, S.C., where she joins forces with newshound Chuck Pennington to turn up some compelling evidence of her bona fides--Betty's diary and her 1967 Mustang, both missing for many years--as she battles not only a town full of skeptics convinced she's trying to worm her way into the moneyed graces of Betty's uncle Raymond Ordway, but also some tougher opponents: police chief Mark Turnage, the man who shot leading suspect Ed Johnson before he could be lynched; Ed's unstable sister GG, determined to avenge her brother's death; Betty's old beau Lee Caldecott, a conspirator in her murder; and old man Ordway himself, who'd been molesting Betty for years and accepts Drew as a reincarnated Betty only because he's desperately eager to pick up where he left off. Once Drew finally decides to stop fighting dead Betty, who's bent on leading her to the truth about the murder despite her frantic attempts to escape, the story seems ready to settle into a whodunit, but first-novelist Specht (co-author of Tisha, 1976) still has a few well-timed tricks up his sleeve. Satisfyingly tense and twisty--it's only the anticlimactic last 20 pages that give you a chance to reflect how unlikely it all is.

Pub Date: June 25th, 1991
ISBN: 0-312-05965-5
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 1991