CAUSE FOR CONCERN
British author Yorke (A Case to Answer, etc.), who's published a novel almost every year since 1957, offers another leisurely, psychological suspense thriller in which ordinary folks go about their business while danger hums quietly underneath. Much of the story is devoted to the sweet charm of the village of Bishop St. Leon and the neighborly interplay of its residents. For a long time life goes on normally and nothing much happens; the only hints of doom are the presence of a mysterious newcomer, Adam Wilson, who has a secret agenda, and longtime resident Martin Trent, who beats his mother, Susan. The entire community worries that Martin will kill Susan someday, but feels helpless to intervene since she won't acknowledge the problem. Meanwhile, Adam, a pleasant chap who makes friends easily but appears to have no job, displays an unusual interest in the former occupants of the house next door. Eventually, the two plot threads connect, of course, but in a way that reflects logic rather than coincidence. If the final chilling act of violence is completely predictable, given what we know of the people involved, it is also utterly unforgettable. Fans of edgier contemporary thrillers may be disappointed, but Yorke's faithful followers should be well pleased. (Nov.)
FYI:Yorke won the 1999 CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger Award.