cover image See Jane Run

See Jane Run

Joy Fielding. William Morrow & Company, $27.78 (364pp) ISBN 978-0-688-08867-5

Finely tuned and convincing, Fielding's ( Kiss Mommy Goodbye ) latest novel of romantic suspense opens on a chilling note: Boston housewife Jane Whittaker finds herself on a downtown street, her pockets stuffed with a large number of crisp $100 bills, the front of her dress soaked with blood. She has no idea of her identity. Though shaken and terrified, she proceeds with logic. After 24 hours of shrewd calculation, she finds a policeman and is taken to a hospital for tests. By chance, she is reunited there with her husband, Michael, a prominent pediatric surgeon. Caring and supportive, Michael feels that Jane will regain her memory soon. He assures Jane that their seven-year-old daughter is staying with his parents and that she must accept the ministrations of their solicitous housekeeper, Paula. But the atmosphere is ominous: Michael has unexplained stitches on his forehead; Jane feels constantly drugged; Paula refuses to let Jane see her friends. Increasingly uneasy, Jane flees, but is soon found by Michael and a new cycle of terror begins. Fielding handles her material with finesse; suspense is maintained at a high level, and the narrative is enriched by Jane's bracing sense of humor and a cast of sharply drawn, articulate characters. Literary Guild main selection; movie option to Pathe Studios. (May)