Prey to All

Natasha Cooper, Author Minotaur Books $23.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-312-26636-3
Readers who persevere with this somewhat languid contemporary British mystery will find it picks up speed toward the end. Comely barrister Trish McGuire usually argues child abuse cases before the bar, but in this, the third novel in the McGuire series, she takes on a murder case at the urging of a friend, television producer Anna Grayling. Anna is convinced that Deb Gibbert should be retried after a guilty verdict jailed her with a life sentence. Anna is preparing a TV special she hopes will prove that Deb did not smother her bellicose, ill father. Who did do the old boy in? Was it Deb's long-suffering mother? Or Deb's ""perfect"" sister, Cordelia, who hated Deb enough to testify against her at the original trial? Did the overworked and undercaring country doctor make a mistake? Trish grudgingly takes on Deb's case, as she herself is not certain whether she believes the embittered woman is innocent. The police personnel on the case are DCI William Femur, who's had a run-in with Trish in the past, and his sergeant, Caroline Lyalt. They add their official methods to Trish's more informal attempts at investigation. On the home front, Deb's beleaguered spouse, Adam, and four childrenDheaded by teenage KateDmuddle on with their own lives and problems, not the least of which is having a gaol-bird for a wife and mother! Cooper cunningly weaves these plots together as the novel chases to its close in a stunning turnabout ending. (Dec. 14)
Reviewed on: 12/04/2000
Release date: 12/01/2000
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