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Kelly, the author of three other Liz Conners mysteries, surely merits a larger readership, and if her free-lance writer Cambridge sleuth isn't as this-minute hip as Kinsey Millhone or as socially aware as V.I. Warshawski, she's less edgy to be around--more companionable. On this outing, her police detective boyfriend, Jack Lingemann, has been suspended--Yolanda Sims accused him of raping her; and his former brother-in-law, Dalton Craig, insisted that Jack and his partner Sam were part of a secret police spy squad and framed Albert Parks for the murder of reporter Stephen Laurrain. With the help of Sam, a gutsy policewoman, and two newspaper colleagues, Liz digs into Jack's caseload, trying to find out who wants him iced. The trail leads past the death of auditor Paula Young and the financial ruin of developer Holmes, and seems to tie in to the death of landowner Hassler, whose property attracted the attention of Otway Gilmore, a principal in a real-est, ate development company. Was Jack set up for the same reasons reporter Laurrian was killed, to divert attention from the late Mr. Hassler? After a gruesome confrontation with Jack's nemesis, Jack is reinstated, the Cambridge cops get to close four unsolved murders, and Liz must find a way to coexist with guilt. A deceptively easygoing style almost eclipses the talent at work here, which combines strong characterizations, neat plotting, and a rousing finale.

Pub Date: July 30th, 1990
Publisher: Villard/Random House