Close to a Killer

Marsha Qualey, Author Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers $15.95 (192p) ISBN 978-0-385-32597-4
Anxious to start a new life after serving a 15-year prison sentence, Barrie's mother opens a beauty parlor with some of her ex-con friends, all of whom have done time for killing. Business booms at Killer Looks until the husband of a client and then another customer are brutally slain in their fashionable homes. Is one of the employees responsible for the crimes? While the police piece together clues, Barrie and her mother are terrorized by an angry citizen (or is it the real killer?). Their house is vandalized. Their shop is burned and Barrie has the feeling she is being stalked. Less taut and cohesive than Qualey's Thin Ice, this whodunit is too cluttered with peripheral social issues. Barrie's relationships with ""lost souls"" (former street people), shelter residents and an elderly couple who run a failing used bookstore are too conspicuously worked into the plot, dividing the novel's focus and diffusing its suspense. The heroine's feelings toward her ""killer"" mother are ambiguous at best (""Not that Barrie had ever decided if her mother was, technically speaking, a murderer""). Most of the time, Barrie seems quite comfortable--almost chummy--with her mother, but she periodically expresses deep resentment at being dragged away from her father and stepmother (who are spending the year in France). As in the author's previous novels, outward appearances are deceiving, but this time around, the final unveiling of truth is a letdown. Ages 12-up. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/01/1999
Release date: 03/01/1999
Show other formats
Mass Market Paperbound - 208 pages - 978-0-440-22763-2
Prebound-Other - 978-0-606-20499-6
Prebound-Other - 182 pages - 978-0-613-28448-6
Open Ebook - 108 pages - 978-1-61187-669-7
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Email Address


Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.