Release date: 06/01/2002
A tinted review in adult Forecasts indicates a book that's of exceptional importance to our readers, but hasn't received a starred or boxed review.
Sometimes it takes a while for a good fish to swim all the way across the pond. Originally published in England in 1995, this psychological suspenser from crowd-pleaser Francis (Night Sky) is just making it to shore here. While caught up in the tensions surrounding a possible buyout of the glass company he inherited from his father, Hugh Wellesley hears news reports of the murder of his mistress, Sylvie. Unwilling to come clean with his sickly and devoted wife, Ginny, Hugh lies to her and the police. When he's arrested anyway, Ginny covers for him so thoroughly that the police believe her guilty and arrest her instead. Hugh also has a doctor brother, David, who tells his share of lies. And David's wife, Mary, deceives, too. As the trial draws nearer, it becomes apparent that the only way to save Ginny is to discover the truth behind Sylvie's death. Francis explores betrayal on many levels here: business partner against partner, brother against brother, husband against wife, lover against lover, even doctor against patient. The delight for the reader in this cynically dishonest world lies in discerning that every behavior, however altruistic on the surface, is suspect. Even Hugh, as first-person narrator, behaves so suspiciously that the reader doubts him. The only flaw in this quietly taut white knuckler is the ending, which is a trifle sweet given what has gone before. (June)
Forecast:Widely read in England, Francis has never caught the tide of thriller popularity here. This crafty study of deceitful family relationships may be the book that will hook new readers.