The Woman Who Was God

Francis Henry King, Author George Weidenfeld & Nicholson $0 (296p) ISBN 978-1-55584-248-2
Even the title is ambiguous in this highly skillful, engrossing psychological thriller by a well-known British author ( Voices in an Empty Room and Frozen Music ). Attractive, middle-aged divorcee Ruth St. Just is convinced that her adored only son James, who has died mysteriously on the island of Ellampore off the coast of West Africa, was actually murdered, possibly by members of a small cult gathered around a charismatic woman known as Mother. Having exhausted her efforts to get more information from the Foreign Office in London, and to interest the press in the case, Ruth journeys to Ellampore. The reader shares her anxiety, the impact of this African backwater on her already taut emotions, her suspicions of Mother when at last the women meet. The book could move in any direction at this point, but King has something more in mind than solving a conventional mystery; and his novel takes several dark and unsettling turns before a shocking ending that suddenly makes the reader reexamine everything that has gone before. A thoroughly gripping performance. (November)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
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