Rancho Maria

Jerry Oster, Author HarperCollins Publishers $14.95 (232p) ISBN 978-0-06-015519-3
When the body of a stranger turns up in Rancho Maria de la Luz, a super-swank California community, the rich, privileged residents are only mildly concerned. But as Oster's new thriller proceeds, the unnatural deaths of entrenched community members affect everyone. Heading Rancho's private police force is Sam Branch, who is dating Annie Buck, a lawyer with clients in the enclave. Sam also lusts for gorgeous Portia, wife of Feliz Beaufils, the multi-millionaire who is the second murder victim. The third is the goatish local gynecologist, notoriously kinky, especially in sex romps with the mayor, Aura Quivers. Also on the scene is reporter Eve Zabriskie, Annie Buck's friend even when she catches the wandering eye of Sam Branch. Readers will have to be alert to Oster's nuanced clues to the traits of the many characters as the story peaks in a almost unbearably tense confrontation. (March 5)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
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