DOUBLE EXPOSURE: A First Daughter Mystery

Susan Ford, Author, Laura Hayden, With with Laura Hayden. St. Martin's Minotaur/Dunne $23.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-312-28471-8

Former first daughter Ford, aided by romantic suspense author Hayden, gets off to a shaky start with this White House murder mystery, falling short of the standards set by fellow presidential scions Margaret Truman and Elliott Roosevelt. First daughter Eve Cooper, a 25-year-old photographer, shares the White House with her newly inaugurated widower father, her aunt who acts as First Lady and her youngest brother. While taking pictures of the first family in the Rose Garden after a snowstorm, White House photographer Michael Cauffman notices a man's body in the snow. On the body is a black-and-white glossy photo of an unknown couple in flagrante delicto in the Lincoln bedroom. Eve, her Secret Service guardians and Cauffman pursue an investigation to prevent the murder from turning into the first scandal of her father's administration. Ford draws on her own experiences to provide an authentic view of life in the White House fishbowl, though the authors have to do some clever maneuvering to give Eve enough latitude to be an active (and at risk) sleuth. One fervently hopes that the real Secret Service operates more competently than the fictional one depicted here. Ford's insider knowledge and some mild humor aren't enough to redeem a flimsy plot, while Eve has a disconcerting knack of seeming to be her age one moment and her 15-year-old brother's the next. For all its weaknesses, however, this debut novel does have a certain naïve charm, and is sure to attract a curious audience. National author tour. (Apr. 15)

Reviewed on: 02/04/2002
Release date: 04/01/2002
Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 320 pages - 978-0-312-98827-2
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