PAST TENSE by William G. Tapply


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Looks like Boston lawyer Brady Coyne’s ladylove Evelyn Banyon won’t have to worry anymore about creepy Larry Scott, who’s repaid her kindness in getting him a job at the Cortland hospital where she worked as an administrator by following her down to Cape Cod and stalking her. Hours after Larry decks Brady in front of an obliging crowd of witnesses, somebody’s stabbed him to death. Now all Evie has to worry about is being tabbed as the killer by the police. And all Brady has to worry about is Evie’s disappearance soon after phoning her lawyer, Charlotte Matley. Stuck for leads, and not entirely out from police suspicion himself, Brady hies himself to gossipy little Cortland, where he finds out that (1) Evie had been fired from her job after attacking Larry with a pair of scissors; (2) Larry’s murder is only one link in a chain that will continue with the throat-slitting of a visiting New Jersey hardware clerk and the apparent suicide of an elderly pediatrician Evie was seeing; (3) that chain stretches backward over ten years to a family blighted by tragedy; and (4) somebody in town isn’t happy Brady’s come. By the time it’s all over, the late Larry will almost have vanished in the pile of fatalities, and everybody will have forgotten the stalking that brought him into Brady’s life in the first place.

Tapply (Scar Tissue, 2000, etc.) provides the laid-back pleasures of his usual more-charm-than-plot formula, though Brady doesn’t distinguish himself this time as either detective or lover.

Pub Date: Oct. 22nd, 2001
ISBN: 0-312-28442-X
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Minotaur
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2001


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