cover image Live to Regret

Live to Regret

Terence Faherty. St. Martin's Press, $17.95 (213pp) ISBN 978-0-312-08255-0

In this weak follow-up to his Edgar-nominated debut Deadstick, Faherty features one real and one fake suicide attempt and lots of tortured soul-searching by an uncompelling cast, but no real crime. Amateur detective and former seminarian Owen Keane is hired by Harold Ohlman Sr. to find out why Harry Jr., Owen's college pal, is taking so long to recover from the shock of his wife Mary's death. Although the auto accident was clearly not Harry's fault, the young widower is practically hiding out at the New Jersey shore, and Harry Sr. wants him back at the family law firm. Owen, who once loved Mary, resists taking the job but is swayed by Mary's little daughter, who looks just like her mother. Owen shadows Harry (who's mainly trying to paint) and becomes involved with a mysterious beauty until everything comes neatly together. The only blood shed is that of Owen, who cuts his hand. The most interesting character is a feisty nonegenarian nun. (Sept.)