Dying to Know

Jeff Hammer, Author Avon Books $2.95 (171p) ISBN 978-0-380-76143-2
This would-be thriller takes an intriguing premise and makes a lifeless hash of it. Toni, Lynn and Melissa have devoted themselves to spreading nasty rumors about their fellow students. Then Lynn is found dead. The police say that she killed herself, but Diane, the school's gossip columnist, suspects that she was murdered by one of her enemies. Diane sets out to uncover the truth and soon realizes that someone is desperate to stop her investigation. So desperate, in fact, that he or she resorts to the hackneyed plot device of cutting the brake cables on Diane's car. This is just one of many cliches in the novel's contrived plot. The writing manages to be stiff and slangy at once, and sometimes just plain silly, as when a cloud of smoke is compared to ``a smelly omen.'' Because the characters lack believable motivation, the novel's conclusion seems to have been randomly reached. Ages 12-up. (July)
Reviewed on: 07/01/1991
Release date: 07/01/1991
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