Ann Ripley, Author St. Martin's Press $19.95 (163p) ISBN 978-0-312-11029-1
Coincidence and intuition figure prominently in the two-pronged plot of this slender, predictable first novel set in the Washington, D.C., suburbs. Foreign-service wife Louise Eldridge is settling her family into their new northern Virginia home, in the same neighborhood where Peter Hoffman, a possible candidate for undersecretary of defense, lives. Louise, an organic gardener, begins to collect bags of leaves from her neighbors' curbsides to fill in a low spot in the back yard. Concurrently, Peter realizes he must jettison his mistress, another neighbor, in order to stay in the running for the government post. Louise and her family are shocked to discover parts of a severed body in some of the lawn bags. When Louise's husband agrees to vet Peter, the Eldridges throw a dinner party, at which a slightly tipsy Louise leads the smarmy Peter to suspect she connects him to the murder. Their subsequent meeting, when Louise bravely fends off Peter's attempt to kill her, will not surprise those readers who have stuck with the story. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/30/1994
Release date: 06/01/1994
Mass Market Paperbound - 304 pages - 978-0-553-57734-1
Open Ebook - 154 pages - 978-0-307-56983-7
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