cover image The Long Search

The Long Search

Isabelle Holland. Doubleday Books, $16.95 (265pp) ISBN 978-0-385-26545-4

In the latest mystery in the St. Anselm series, 37-year-old Janet Covington, a newly promoted senior editor at a New York publishing house, is barely a step ahead of her past as a 1960s radical protestor and family black sheep. Janet's efforts to block the past, and her final acceptance of her former self, make for a mildly interesting but ultimately implausible story. When author William Macrae's political expose is assigned to Janet, she fights both her attraction to him and her fear that he may uncover her secrets; however, when she learns she's a carrier of the gene for hemophilia, she enlists his help in locating and warning the daughter she gave up for adoption 18 years ago. Meanwhile, Janet's relationship with live-in lover Paul Davenport, an alcoholic university professor, is deteriorating, and Janet starts seeing Reverend Claire Aldington, assistant rector and pastoral counselor at St. Anselm's Episcopal Church. When Paul is murdered, Janet is a suspect, but she impulsively flies to Virginia to track down her daughter, meanwhile worrying that Macrae is behind the anonymous threatening phone calls she's been getting. The long arm of coincidence leads to a figure from Janet's past, danger and a predictably romantic ending to this unexciting story. Paperback rights to Fawcett. (Nov.)