Other People's Skeletons

Julie Smith, Author Fawcett Books $5.99 (0p) ISBN 978-0-8041-1086-0
San Francisco lawyer Rebecca Schwartz again turns to sleuthing when her partner, Chris Nicholson, becomes a prime suspect in the hit-and-run death of Chronicle arts critic Jason McKendrick . Chris says she didn't even know the victim, but an eyewitness places her car at the crime scene. Her alibi could get laughed out of court: she was with a group of fellow psychics, and everyone was in ``deep trance.'' Rob Burns, a Chronicle reporter and Rebecca's ex-boyfriend, suggests that they cooperate to find the murderer. As they dig, Jason's life emerges like a puzzle of mismatched pieces: a glamorous job, a depressing hovel of a home and an array of women friends who offer strikingly different perspectives on him. Soon Chris's psychic chums, who ooze sincerity, use their otherworldly skills to nudge the investigation in the right direction. Although Jason's death emerges as one of a series of unhappy events in the lives of some people who have been cruelly mangled by fate, this fact--like a frightening medical problem that Rebecca develops--fails to lend substance to the tale, which doesn't compare with Smith's ( Jazz Funeral ) best. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/04/1993
Release date: 10/01/1993
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