What Matters Most: 8

Cynthia Victor, Author Dutton Books $23.95 (336p) ISBN 978-0-525-94033-3
Breezy dialogue, well-developed dramatic tension and, of course, the eventual triumph of true love blend nicely in Victor's (Only You) new novel of romantic suspense. Lainey Wolfe and Farrell Cole, both 36, have been best friends since first grade. Farrell is married and living in considerable luxury in a Connecticut suburb; freelance Manhattan artist/designer Lainey is beloved ``aunt'' to Farrell's nine-year-old, Tim, and his younger sister, Riley. Hopelessly involved with her married boss, Lainey foresees no changes in her life. Farrell, however, has a dark secret, and though some readers will find her zest for danger less than credible, the eventual result of her daring adventure is death, apparently accidental: Farrell and her husband are believed to be victims of a malfunctioning furnace. As their legal guardian, Lainey moves in with the grieving children, but the timing couldn't be worse: she's just been offered the career break of a lifetime and her lover has finally proposed marriage. And then she begins to suspect that the Coles' deaths were murder. Victor's characterization is deeper and more subtle than usual for the genre; her prose is assured, and she has a grasp of the domestic minutiae at the center of family life. Though the plotting is a bit too transparent and the ending shamelessly melodramatic, readers will enjoy the excitement. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/04/1996
Release date: 03/01/1996
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 395 pages - 978-1-56895-352-6
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-451-98401-2
Mass Market Paperbound - 10 pages - 978-0-451-18603-4
Paperback - 978-0-451-98388-6
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