cover image Swan Dive: A Novel of Suspense

Swan Dive: A Novel of Suspense

J. F. Healy. HarperCollins Publishers, $16.95 (216pp) ISBN 978-0-06-015921-4

Boston private detective John Francis Cuddy, first encountered in So Like Sleep , returns in Healy's sizzling new mystery. A man so debased that he mutilates his small daughter's kitten, Roy Marsh won't agree to a fair financial settlement with his wife Hanna, who is divorcing him. Cuddy has a way of making Roy pay for his cruelty and is therefore a suspect when somebody kills the sadist and a young prostitute in her apartment. In trouble with the police and, the detective quickly learns, with criminals bent on finding drugs missing from the dead man's luxurious house, Cuddy narrowly survives body blows, time after time. In hopes of solving the case, he keeps investigating the people in Roy's background, particularly sexy lawyer Felicia Arnold, still another woman in Roy's life, who was abetting the husband in his scheme to cheat Hanna. The story drives to a knockout finish with implications for the engaging detective's happy future. Visiting his wife's grave, Cuddy feels sure she approves of his new life with Nancy Arnold, who doubtlessly will co-star again in additions to the series. A beguiling sense of humor, ingenious plotting and avoidance of shallow sentimentality are traits that take Healy's novels to the top. (July)