The River House

Margaret Leroy, Author . Little, Brown $23.95 (308p) ISBN 978-0-316-74157-6

In Leroy's second U.S. release (Postcards from Berlin ), heroine Ginnie Holmes—a respected psychologist and mother of two—shakes up her comfy, middle-aged life by embarking on a passionate affair with a married man. The duo throw caution—and their bare behinds—to the wind every Thursday afternoon in trysts along deserted, woody banks of the Thames. As it gets colder outside, Ginnie and Will (aka Detective Inspector Hampden) seek privacy in an abandoned river house. One day, "entangled" inside with her "smoke and cinnamon" scented lover, Ginnie spies a suspicious-looking man by the river. Initially unnerved, she dismisses her reaction as projected guilt—until a woman is found murdered near that very spot. Thus begins the real conflict in this atmospheric love –story–cum–psychological thriller. Should Ginnie remain silent, potentially allowing a murderer to go free? Or should she speak up, and thereby expose her affair and ruin two marriages? As she frets over the decision, all the while juggling a career, an emotionally aloof husband, a difficult 16-year-old daughter and an ailing mother, Ginnie seems less a heroine and more a hapless fly caught in a moral spider web. Leroy manages to make Ginnie sympathetic—even though she isn't always likable—and her dilemma chillingly real. Agent, Kathleen Anderson . (June 21)

Reviewed on: 05/16/2005
Release date: 06/01/2005
Genre: Fiction
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