Distinguished British crime writer Symons ( The Colour of Murder ) carves a little gem of manners, murder and indirection. Judith Lassiter, 37, married to Victor, a handsome and successful architect, feels so restless that she copies out passionate letters from romance novels and sends them to herself. Her chum Debbie suggests an affair, ``something to shake you up,'' and signs Judith up for a driver's-ed refresher course with a handsome, if rough-spoken, young man whom Judith beds after the second lesson. An ex-schoolmate, now a police detective, also shows interest in her, arousing the suspicions of Victor, who is cooking up a shady real estate scheme with a builder. Short interludes titled ``Afterwards'' punctuate the story, describing the police investigation of a body found in a lover's lane. Scandalous secrets are uncovered and fatal alliances forged before the two narratives intersect. Judith's pain and obsession with the driving instructor are beautifully, leanly drawn. The final ``Afterwards'' holds a series of shocks, which Symons relates with his trademark economy: not a word is wasted. The third edition of Symons's critical study Bloody Murder will be published simultaneously. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 02/01/1993 Release date: 02/01/1993 Genre: Fiction
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