The Third Life

Caroline Gray, Author St. Martin's Press $0 (337p) ISBN 978-0-312-02653-0
This loopily unlikely tale is a bit like an old Warner Bros. gangster movie, if not so slick. In 1932, virginal 21-year-old Julie Allen, in her last year in a Swiss finishing school, is told of her father's death by a stranger who claims to be a family friend. According to Major ``Uncle Bob'' Roberts, British petroleum exec Allen has been killed by a robber near Allen's Epsom cottage. Julie soon learns of her father's other life as Eddie Armitage, U.S. and U.K. crime biggie, who for a decade has stolen $2,000,000 a year from ``the Association.'' Armitage's American cohorts want the money back and so they plant a keeper on Julie, leaving readers to guess whether he is the American Oxonian Teddy, ``Uncle Bob'' or self-styled Scotland Yard man Baldwin. In short order Julie marries Teddy, sails to New York, leads a bloody gang war, returns to Europe, finds the money then loses it, but still ends up rich with Mr. Right. Anachronisms and garrulous, coy hesitations abound, and less length would have made for more fun. Gray wrote Victoria's Walk and White Rani. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
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