Death Down Home

Eve K. Sandstrom, Author, Sandstrom, Author Scribner Book Company $18.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-684-19244-4
Readers must brave their way through some initially flat prose in Sandstrom's mystery debut as they meet a cast of small-town Oklahomans with motives for murder. Once the story swings into gear, however, Sandstrom unravels an intriguing plot with an exciting climax and satisfying resolution. Photographer Nicky Titus accompanies her new husband, military detective Sam, on leave to the small Oklahoma town where he grew up. A Nancy Drew type, Nicky is at first cowed by her new role in the clannish community, especially when she tries to work side by side with Sam to discover the attempted killer of her father-in-law and the circumstances surrounding the disappearance of her brother-in-law. She learns in short order that Sam prefers not to involve her in his investigation; when she presses him for details, he becomes rejecting and silent. In fashioning the plot so that Nicky must try to understand the reasons for her husband's secretive behavior, Sandstrom runs the risk of losing reader interest by making Sam boorish and taciturn. The couple is no Nick and Nora; readers should not expect entertaining banter. But Sam's bad humor dissolves in the face of Nicky's charming tenacity and the newlyweds solve the crime together, while grasping the true depth of their relationship. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/31/1990
Release date: 11/01/1990
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-373-26125-3
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