Paint Her Face Dead

Jane Johnston, Author St. Martin's Press $15.95 (246p) ISBN 978-0-312-00172-8
Johnston's debut in Pray for Ricky Foster introduced the Manhattan-based journalist Louisa Evans, who returns in this fast, febrile mystery. Hoping to prove the encounter group SUM (Self Utilization Marathon) a fraud, Louisa signs up for sessions coached by Tony Cazzine. She's among the crowd of 200 attendees when pathetic, affectedly gaudy Deirdre Doyle dies, having been slipped a ""tranquilizer'' loaded with cyanide. The ambitious reporter is suspected of Deirdre's murder, also of later shooting Tony, and the detective in charge of the cases is provoked by Louisa's flight from the crime scene. She has rushed into her own investigations searching and questioning the victims's sleazy ex-lover and others, enterprises that repeatedly jeopardize her life. Although the villain's identity is implausible, the story is exciting and enhanced by depictions of the Big Applebad spots and all. (March 24)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
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