A Habit of the Blood

Lois Battle, Author St. Martin's Press $17.95 (416p) ISBN 978-0-312-00128-5
Battle's absorbing new novel should prove to be her most successful yet. Thirty-four-year-old Ceci Baron, the beautiful daughter of a once-famous character actor, returns to the family estate in Jamaica, where she finds the Nettleton Plantation in an uproar. Her half-brother and his millionaire fiancee are turning the former great house into a luxury hotel/gambling casino, funded by a mysterious businessman who may have ties to the Mafia. Ceci's Aunt Vivian, the owner of the estate, has retreated into a dream world and the servants are about to revolt. To complicate matters further, Ceci renews a love affair with Paul Strangman, a former prime minister of Jamaica, whose idealism has soured, and who forces Ceci to assess her life. This larger-than-life novel goes beyond the tourist scene to provide a glimpse into the tawdry politics and the drug subculture of Jamaica. Battle (War Brides, Southern Women has the facility and expertise to animate her sweeping saga. 40,000 first printing; $40,000 ad/promo. (February 27)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-312-90582-8
Hardcover - 631 pages - 978-0-89621-824-6
Paperback - 384 pages - 978-0-14-026169-1
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