Don't Leave Me This Way

Joan Smith, Author Scribner Book Company $18.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-684-19233-8
On Christmas Eve, feminist-scholar Loretta Lawson, professor of literature at the University of London, reluctantly takes in Sandra Neil, a difficult member of their long-disbanded women's group, who has called requesting a temporary place to stay. When Sandra disappears on New Year's Eve, Loretta is both relieved and worried; guilt is her main response upon hearing days later that Sandra has died in a suspicious car accident near the New Forest. Motivated by a sense of personal responsibility and her need to reconcile differences between her perception of Sandra and the account given police by Tom, the dead woman's husband, Loretta reluctantly pursues the case. Surprised at what she discovers among Sandra's clothing and other belongings, Loretta soon draws police suspicion to herself. The mystery's abrupt resolution, poorly prepared as well as unexpected, may disappoint readers who met and admired Loretta in A Masculine Ending . Yet Smith's narrative strengths are also in full evidence: Loretta, full of likes and dislikes, convictions and doubts, is literate, credible, likable and excellent company. Paperback rights to Ballantine. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 10/31/1990
Release date: 11/01/1990
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-449-21964-5
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