cover image Palindrome


Stuart Woods. HarperCollins Publishers, $19.95 (344pp) ISBN 978-0-06-017911-3

Woods ( Chiefs ) is in bestseller form with this fast-paced, multilevel tale of mystery and revenge. When Liz Barwick is beaten nearly to death by her steroid-crazed husband, Baker Ramsey, a star NFL running back, she quickly divorces him, takes a large cash settlement and disappears from public view. Liz, whose book of sports photographs has just been released, takes advantage of her publisher's offer to live in his cottage on an isolated private island off the Georgia coast. But when Ramsey goes on a murderous rampage, Liz's lawyer and publisher and his wife are among his victims. Meanwhile other events are unfolding on Cumberland Island, where Liz becomes involved with the Drummond family, the island's original settlers, and forms a warm relationship with patriarch Angus Drummond. She also embarks on a romance with one of a pair of handsome twins--inseparable as children, they now mysteriously refuse even to acknowledge each other's existence. A tragic secret more than two decades old shatters the island's tranquility just as Ramsey arrives on the scene. In a suspenseful--albeit telegraphed--final encounter, one deadly monster destroys another. 75,000 copy first printing; $140,000 ad/promo; author tour. (Jan.)