Blackmailers Summer

Peter Whalley, Author
Peter Whalley, Author Doubleday Books $14.95 (184p) ISBN 978-0-385-24990-4
Reviewed on: 11/28/1989
Release date: 12/01/1989
The British author seems to be making this one up as he goes along, with shallow characters and overt contrivances. Neil Wraith is a snoop who writes anonymous letters to young Angela Dexter, who wants to be a good wife to her new husband, a middle-aged widower with a son, Steve, only three years younger than herself. Wraith's letters threaten to expose Angela's affair with married neighbor Philip Lyman, a mere diversion for both. Angela and Phillip quarrel when she tells him about the writer's demand for hush money. Later she disappears, her murdered body undiscovered for weeks. In a flagrant coincidence, Steve's lover Diana Segal finds the letters Angela had hidden and Steve traces them to the blackmailer. The trail then leads to the killer, who obligingly solves the case, his way. Besides its other flaws, the novel suffers from a frivolous view of the harm done by people who write maliciously, in secret. (Jan.)
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