Deadly Rich

Edward Stewart, Author Delacorte Press $20 (566p) ISBN 978-0-385-29998-5
In Stewart's ( Privileged Lives ) latest, back-stabbing Manhattan socialites face the less metaphorical blade of serial killer ``Society Sam.'' Actress and four-year AA veteran Leigh Baker, who went on the wagon after Jim Delancey was tried and convicted of murdering her daughter, is horrified to learn that Delancey has been paroled and works in a posh restaurant. Leigh blames him, despite his alibis, for the boutique-dressing-room murder of her obnoxious pal Oona Aldrich as well as the related slashings of several others in her uppity circle. As the elite hire bodyguards, keep to their busy party circuit and dress to impress at memorial services for the fallen, detective Lt. Vincent Cardozo and a special task force track a muscular, sweatclothes-clad suspect. The main character here is the flashy lifestyle; human players are suitably pretentious but otherwise loosely articulated. Readers may guess the perpetrator through hunches alone, but the true motives behind the slayings emerge only during a swift and clumsy wrap-up that leaves some loose ends. Nevertheless, this is a tasty, gossipy, suspenseful read filled with veiled references to New York hot spots. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/29/1991
Release date: 08/01/1991
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