Rising

Alison Smith, Author St. Martin's Press $16.95 (258p) ISBN 978-0-312-00675-4
A simplistic portrait of a small, modern-day Vermont town's struggle against progress, this mystery fails to generate an atmosphere of suspense. Coolidge Corners is the unwilling recipient of a government-financed dam, which will destroy a river and cause family-owned farms to be flooded. When several construction workers die in unusual circumstances, police chief Judd Springfield (the protagonist of Smith's Someone Else's Grave suspects foul play. The reader, regrettably, is privy to every moment of Judd's investigation (including unsuccessful searches and visits to people who are not home), as well as his tame romance with a wholesome librarian. A black-and-white dichotomy is immediately established between the honest, unpretentious town inhabitants and the corrupt and venal bureaucrats and politicians who support the boondoggling project. Tedious and predictable, the narrative is unimaginative in its construction, themes and sentiments. Even minor details are painfully unimaginative: the firehouse mascot in Coolidge Corners is aDalmatian namedof all thingsSparky. (August 17)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
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