In her 32nd book, suspense master Whitney has written a disappointingly formulaic story of a Connecticut widow who stumbles into danger and intrigue seven years after the abduction of her little girl. Ever since three-year-old Debbie Blake was kidnapped, her mother, Jenny, has been trying to locate the child. Jenny receives a phone call from Corinthea Arles of Victoria, B.C., who has noticed Debbie's photo in a magazine, and who says a young girl in her household bears a resemblance to Debbie. Hastening to Victoria, Jenny discovers a strange menage. The ailing Mrs. Arles's disowned son, Edward, died during an Amazonian expedition, leaving a widow, Peony, and a daughter, Alice. Peony, her second husband, magician Farley Corwin, and Alice now live with Mrs. Arles. Jenny does detect similarities between Debbie and Alice, and she wonders whether the Corwins killed Edward, then kidnapped Debbie, giving her a false identity so they could claim part of Mrs. Arles's substantial wealth. The household servants' suspicious actions also make Jenny determined to investigate, in spite of anonymous, threatening messages that put her on guard. Even interesting sidelights about the region's lore and landmarks do not help this lackluster novel containing cliched characters and a predictable resolution. (March)
Reviewed on: 02/01/1988 Release date: 02/01/1988 Genre: Fiction
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