Afterward

Catherine M. Rae, Author St. Martin's Press $0 (182p) ISBN 978-0-312-06894-3
Though related in understated prose, this novel of romantic suspense is marred by an excess of melodramatic events. Angie and Maud Evans are teenagers in 1904 when their mother and three brothers are among the hundreds who drown in the sinking of the General Slocum. When their father, disabled by grief and alcohol, dies soon after, under questionable circumstances, the girls are left to cope with their two infant sisters and a dwindling inheritance. Beautiful and calculating Angie opts for a quick marriage to wealthy Derek Blauvelt, who agrees to support Maud and their two siblings. But Angie is quickly disenchanted with her demanding husband, and after a rash attempt to run off, she is virtually held prisoner on the Blauvelt summer estate. Even so, she manages to disappear, and a string of bizarre occurrences (a break-in at the estate; shadowy visitors at Maud's New York residence) turn the deeply concerned Maud and Derek into unlikely allies. A sinister housekeeper keeps the plot churning. Rae ( Sarah Cobb ) writes in a calm, measured tone that contrasts with the plot's lurid developments, and the atmosphere of Old New York is nicely sketched. Yet insufficiently developed characters, a degree of predictability and a mechanical wrap-up of all loose ends sap the book of vitality. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1992
Release date: 01/01/1992
Hardcover - 263 pages - 978-1-56054-422-7
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