A Hard Bargain

Lia Matera, Author Simon & Schuster $18.5 (0p) ISBN 978-0-671-74196-9
Attorney Laura DiPalma, last seen in The Good Fight , has dropped out of the San Francisco law scene and, now unemployed, is living in her northern California hometown with her cousin and lover, Hal. Her former partner, Sandy Arkelett, arrives to ask the pair to help him find out whether Ted McGuin, a black paramedic who lives nearby, is responsible for his wife Karen's death, as her recorded final message implies. Karen, who was white, had a history of depression and self-mutilation and said in her message that Ted left her alone each day with a loaded gun. What, her family wonders, was his intention? Laura, intrigued and tiring of her staid life with dour Hal, accompanies Sandy as he visits Ted's parents, who say they loved Karen unconditionally. Karen's parents say the McGuins used their daughter-in-law to promote their crafts business. Ted's diving tank and boat are sabotaged, spurring Laura and Sandy to search for the missing pieces in the puzzle of Karen's life. In this somber tale, Matera skillfully weaves Laura's dissatisfaction with her own circumstances into the investigation of Karen's death, taking a thought-provoking look at the dangers in relationships that grow too close. Reprint rights to Ballantine; Mystery Guild alternate; author tour. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/04/1992
Release date: 05/01/1992
Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 181 pages - 978-0-345-38059-3
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