The Bitter Bite

Jeffrey Ashford, Author St. Martin's Press $19.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-312-13931-5
Calvin and Tim, ex-public school types in London, are friends. Penny, equally privileged, is Calvin's girl, but Tim cares more deeply for her. When Penny is raped by the electrician working at her family's house, Tim rushes to her side, while the callow, priggish Calvin stays well away. When the case against her attacker flounders, Calvin, for essentially selfish reasons, plots his own form of revenge, coercing Tim into helping. The plan is the start of things going wrong. Ashford (Judgment Deferred, Deadly Reunion) has been turning out sharp, if doggedly unshowy, gems of crime fiction for years. This slim story may be even better than the best of his usual efforts. He manages to include a decent helping of procedural detail, and even if his sweating, halitosis-stricken rapist isn't the subtlest villain ever put on paper, the author's cunning way with two simple, yet apparently unbreakable, alibis is as adroit and deft as the best of any mystery plotting. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1996
Release date: 01/01/1996
Paperback - 232 pages - 978-0-7838-1615-9
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