cover image Death at the Cut

Death at the Cut

Douglas Kiker. Random House (NY), $15.95 (259pp) ISBN 978-0-394-56952-9

TV correspondent Kiker scores a second hit with the sequel to Murder on Clam Pond, which was solved by reporter Mac McFarland, a newcomer to the Cape Cod town. Now happily settled in with his love, Kate, Mac is contemplating a plum assignment from the New York Times when he spots a car submerged in the bay and a girl buckled in the passenger seat. Identified later as Susan Jacobs, she's beyond rescue efforts, although Mac and his friend, police chief Noah Simmons, do their best. The case nags at the reporter, but he has to concentrate on the Times article as he goes to meet Republican presidential prospect Sen. Adolphus Bridges, a guest with his wife and retinue at the swank summer home of Dody and Charles Monro II. Wealthy Monro is the blameless, popular senator's strong backer and so is Mac, until he sniffs the air, redolent with secret fears, and follows his reporter's nose to the national capital and other places, where he checks on Susan's background. As a result, he's back home with questions for the political hopefuls, when gunmen kill a young suspect in the drowned girl's case and wound Kate, who's helping Noah counsel the boy. The powerful windup comes too soon for the reader enjoying the author's salty wit while squirming, perhaps, at reminders of real hanky-panky in government. Author tour. (May)