cover image After All These Years

After All These Years

Susan Isaacs. HarperCollins Publishers, $23 (343pp) ISBN 978-0-06-016768-4

Once again Isaacs proves a dab hand at rattling skeletons in the closets of Suburbia--here, murder and adultery are skewered with this author's typically savvy wit. In Long Island's tony Shore Haven, Rosie Meyers makes an unsettling discovery in her kitchen just after her 25th wedding anniversary bash: the body of her husband, peremptorily dispatched with a butcher's knife. The 40-something ``suburban schoolteacher with a bit of a Brooklyn accent'' fears--accurately, as matters turn out--that she will become the odds-on favorite for prime suspect, and goes on the lam to prove her innocence. With a heroine who gives new meaning to the word ``feisty'' (and a host of other smartly drawn characters), Isaacs shows herself in top form. Her barbs and witticisms garner laughs largely through a kind of recognition factor: she makes observations many of us might have thought, but lacked the verbal virtuosity to express. As if to reinforce the familiarity of her consistently on-target humor, she drops dead-on references to pop-culture icons--Dirty Harry movies, L. L. Bean apparel, etc. She has a field day lampooning upper-class mores (in Rosie's land of the privileged, a housekeeper might commit ``some upper-class atrocity, like folding the napkins for morning coffee into rectangles instead of putting them in rings''), but also weaves into this thoroughly diverting caper unexpected moments of genuine tenderness and sly social commentary. A sure candidate for the bestseller lists. 150,000 first printing; $200,000 ad/promo; Literary Guild main selection; author tour. (July)