Heartstopper

Joy Fielding, Author . Atria $24.95 (387p) ISBN 978-0-7432-9598-7

Bestseller Fielding (Mad River Road ) delivers another dependably entertaining thriller. When Sandy Crosbie and her physician husband, Ian, move to Torrance, Fla. (pop. 4,160), from Rochester, N.Y., to make a new start, Sandy quickly discovers that the real new start is Ian's affair with "Barbie clone" Kerri Franklin, whom he met on an Internet chat line. Sandy, who's irritatingly docile about being deserted, trudges forward, getting a job teaching at the local high school and keeping an eye on her two teenage children, Megan and Tim. The author convincingly portrays the Crosbie siblings and other students, while examining in more depth than some readers might prefer teenage angst and puppy love. A popular girl, Liana Martin, disappears and her body later turns up in a swamp. Amid the offstage drama of the school play rehearsals, Sandy's painful blind date and Ian's affair, tension builds and cracks appear within and among local residents. Every few chapters, the anonymous killer offers an entry, which adds to the suspense, though the generous time spent with our mystery villain takes some of the kick out of the ending. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 02/19/2007
Release date: 04/01/2007
Mass Market Paperbound - 442 pages - 978-1-4000-2505-3
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