One of her best efforts, this carefully crafted novel of psychological suspense by the prolific Whitney ( Woman Without a Past ), a Mystery Writers of America Grand Master, entices the reader into a series of enigmas. When Susan Prentice returns to her childhood home in Virginia 25 years after witnessing the death of her mother, Dolores, she wishes only to become reacquainted with her formidable grandmother, Alex, a former ballerina. But Susan finds herself isolated in a hostile environment, her relatives obviously fearful that she might recall hitherto repressed memories of the tragedy. Alex is correct but reserved, while her eccentric cousin Theresa is openly menacing. Her old playmate Peter (now Alex's physician) has survived the murder of his wife a year ago, a crime that might be linked to Dolores's death. And Susan is particularly dismayed to find an ebony swan carved by her late grandfather that ostensibly depicts Alex as Odile in Swan Lake --with a terrifyingly malevolent face. Is Susan at risk? The suspense never falters, and Whitney wonderfully enriches her storytelling with the lush background of Tidewater Virginia and well-integrated historical commentary. Literary Guild selection. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/04/1992 Release date: 05/01/1992 Genre: Fiction
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