cover image Till Death Do Us Part

Till Death Do Us Part

Rochelle Krich / Author Avon Books $4.99 (0p) ISBN 978-0-380-7

Obsessed with manipulating his ex-wife Deena, Jake Vogler refuses to grant her a get , or Jewish divorce, even though they are civilly divorced; he harasses her with late-night phone calls and tries to rape her. When Jake is shot to death, Deena and her loving, overprotective father Max Novick, a Holocaust survivor, become prime suspects. Others who may have pulled the trigger include Jake's real-estate partner Ben, who embezzled funds from the company and has a $900,000 insurance policy riding on Jake's demise; a powerful client of Jake's who believes he has been cheated; Deena's frustrated Orthodox Jewish boyfriend and Jake's unhappy gentile girlfriend; a rabbi who rallied a community protest against Jake; and other ex-wives awaiting Jewish divorces who may have projected hatred for their own partners onto Jake. Krich ( Where's Mommy Now? ) authentically portrays Orthodox Jewish customs (even demonstrating how Deena must observe the seven days of mourning for a man she hated) and sheds welcome light on how unscrupulous men sometimes twist Jewish divorce law out of spite or as a means of blackmailing their wives for money or for custody of the children. Unfortunately, the action limps along, and as a heroine, Deena remains a bland goody-goody. (July)