Something Wicked

Jennifer Rowe, Author Ballantine Books $5.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-345-42795-3
The quaint Australian mountain village of Oakdale is rocked by news of the apparent suicide of celebrity denizen Adam Quinn. Local police, aided by Sydney detectives Tessa Vance and Steve Hayden, converge on the misnamed, half-burned Haven Estate, which the washed-up rock star shared with his eccentric girlfriend, Rachel Brydie, and her three young daughters. Vance and Hayden soon uncover more than they bargained for when Fiona Klein, the girls' middle-aged temporary custodian, ends up at the bottom of a cliff. Denying involvement in the second untimely death, the seemingly simple-minded sisters recount horrific tales of abuse, ritualism and isolation at the hands of Adam and Rachel, stories largely supported by their offbeat neighbors and the gossip-mongering townsfolk. Rowe's (Suspect) cleverly drawn characters add to the unshakable creepiness that propels the story of the investigation to its surprising conclusion. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 11/29/1999
Release date: 12/01/1999
Genre: Fiction
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