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Lia Matera, Author Simon & Schuster $20 (224p) ISBN 978-0-671-74197-6
Fresh from her hard-hitting rural adventure in the Edgar-nominated A Hard Bargain , lawyer Laura Di Palma has returned to San Francisco to establish a solo practice. Her first client may be fellow lawyer Margaret Lenin, whose spiritual guru, Michael Hover, videotaped group sex-therapy sessions in which Lenin participated: the tapes are showing up for rent as ``adult'' videos. Just as Lenin drops the case, another of Hover's lawyer-disciples asks Di Palma to represent the guru himself, who is being sued by an exotic dancer who also appears on the tapes and is romantically linked with Lenin. A frantic 2 a.m. call drags Di Palma out of bed to meet Lenin outside a sex club. Di Palma arrives to see a man break into the locked, silent building; cautiously entering, she finds him shot, along with six dead dancers. Afraid for both her life and reputation, Di Palma leaves the scene of the crimes. With the assistance of PI Sandy Arklett, she explores Hover's unorthodox business, remaining haunted by the crimes she fled. Although it attempts to address serious issues of censorship and pornography, the story is busy and unengaging, and much of its cast remains faceless. The tense finale comes feebly and too late. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/31/1994
Release date: 02/01/1994
Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 272 pages - 978-0-671-88840-4
Hardcover - 978-0-684-88840-8
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