TIGHT LINES by William G. Tapply


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The elegiac tone that Tapply's affected for Brady Coyne's last few outings (Client Privilege, etc.) is perfectly suited to this autumnal tale of elderly, blue-blooded Susan Ames's attempt to find her daughter Mary Ellen so that they can make peace before Susan dies. It's clear from the beginning that wayward, father-loving Mary Ellen will predecease her hated mother, and two more deaths are pretty broadly portended too; the only question is which of Mary Ellen's Oedipal affairs (with her psychiatrist? the professor from ten years back who couldn't let go? the superannuated hippie bookstore-owner? her current boyfriend, a suspended Boston cop? her female building super?) led to her death. And this time the Freudian clues are so pointed that most readers will work out the answer before sad, subdued Brady does. The usual Tapply strengths: a deceptively tranquil style, heavy doses of the Brady charm, and just enough mystery to keep you turning the pages until the revelation you've feared all along.

Pub Date: May 6th, 1992
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Delacorte