LISTENERS by Sally Emerson


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A windy tale of romance (bland) and terror (tepid) in contemporary London. Jennifer Hamilton, scholar and teacher, is in a funk because husband Martin has pulled up stakes from their peaceful and perfect house--to marry another woman. So, depressed and idly mulling suicide, Jennifer finds herself attending a meeting led by that chubby, motherly spiritualist, Mrs. Maugham (the one so admired by Jennifer's Aunt Stella, before her untimely death). And, after the meeting, Jennifer is contacted by graying, oddly fascinating Richard Stevenson, rumored to have pushed his young wife to her death. (Or did he?) But Jennifer ignores Richard's advice about keeping away from Maugham and her spooky associates. Even when Jennifer's friend Sheila is found dead after a Maugham-henchman's visit, even when Jennifer's hospitalized mother is tended by another henchman. . . she's still a bit slow on the uptake. Finally, however, after assorted dangers, Jennifer finds marvelous sex with Richard--and eventually faces down the Maugham mÉnage, which is devoted to eliminating lonely people. Marginally diverting chills from the author of Second Sight (1983), with far too much mooning about dull, dim Jennifer's dull, dim life.

Pub Date: March 12th, 1984
Publisher: Michael Joseph--dist. by Merrimack (47 Pelham Rd., Salem, NH 03079)