Although this latest vehicle by the author of See Jane Run ultimately reaches an ingeniously crafted finale, readers may tire of Fielding's (mostly irrelevant) plot detours and excessive emotional baggage--specifically, the protagonist's constant state of anxiety. Suspense along the way is minimal and often forced, while, for most of its length, the novel reads like a not especially compelling domestic drama. Jess Koster, a 30-year-old prosecutor in the Cook County (Ill.) state's attorney's office, overreacts to just about everyone and everything; she is particularly obsessed with her mother's unexplained disappearance eight years earlier. (A remark by her mother, in fact, is one of the book's many annoyingly repeated phrases.) The attenuated storyline snakes around three men in Jess's life; while they figure prominently in a clever denouement, their individual encounters with Jess exhibit little freshness. Jess's family relationships are unconvincingly strained, while her courtroom work proves mundane: in a pointless trial sequence, her strategy for winning a murder conviction, hailed by coworkers as ``brilliant,'' will be old hat to mystery devotees. Because this heroine seems not to like herself--and displays few engaging qualities--it becomes difficult to like or empathize with her (often imaginary) plights. First serial to Cosmopolitan; Literary Guild main selection. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/31/1993 Release date: 06/01/1993 Genre: Fiction
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