Fatal Decision

Michael Gould, Author
Michael Gould, Author Creative Arts Book Company $23.5 (325p) ISBN 978-0-88739-119-4
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""Betty's ineffable beauty and charm made a very favorable impression on Scott. He had the unmistakable feeling that the sparks of romance were beginning to ignite...."" Nothing else does in this fatally wooden first novel by Philadelphia lawyer Gould. After neglected young wife Betty Michaelson breaks off her affair with Milwaukee millionaire Scott Renier, he moves to Miami and becomes engaged to Jane, lovelorn ex-wife of a Hasidic rabbi. But when Betty's husband dies of a brain tumor, Scott breaks the engagement and rushes north to marry Betty. Meanwhile, the rabbi has a change of heart, gives up his Talmud (and talith) for secular success in the real estate business and wins Jane back: ""Darling, being in bed together makes me realize... I shot myself in the foot when I blindly accepted all the rules of the Hasidic religion."" Betty beats a rap for murdering her first husband, the couples grow chummy and together they sail into the sunset on the QE2. Few readers will join them on the cruise. (Feb.)
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