Killing Time in Buffalo

Deidre S. Laiken, Author Little Brown and Company $18.45 (275p) ISBN 978-0-316-51223-7
Edgar Allan Poe Award-winner Laiken ( Death Among Strangers ) is less successful with her new novel, set in Buffalo, N.Y., during the ``love summer'' of 1967 with its drug-induced frolicking. Renee and Fran, university students, have chosen to spend the summer in one of the run-down apartment buildings that face Days Park, a Haight-Ashbury for those who can't afford airfare to San Francisco. The two girls have swallowed whole the vague rhetoric of an escapist hippie generation to whom money is vulgar but shoplifting is a political act. Renee's husband, Barry, has been missing for a few weeks, a situation that intrigues Fran more than it does Renee herself. Their frequent use of drugs makes it even harder for Renee to sort out her fragmented past. Meanwhile, she believes that someone is trying to kill her. Pivotal is older brother Leon, who protected her as a child from their mother's madness but who can no longer save Renee from every mishap that overtakes her. The development of the brother-sister relationship is by far the strongest element of the book, but this paradigm is overworked. What suspense remains in the mysterious intrusions into Renee's apartment is overcome by an onslaught of coincidences at novel's end. (June)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
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