cover image Angel of Mercy

Angel of Mercy

Andrew Neiderman. Putnam Publishing Group, $22.95 (236pp) ISBN 978-0-399-13926-0

An overweight cop with a heart problem pursues a series of suspicious suicides among the elderly of Palm Springs, Calif., in Neiderman's ( Someone's Watching ) less than enthralling crime novel. Against the advice of his wife, his physician and his superiors, Frankie Samuels, on medical leave, keeps current on a pattern of local deaths in which the demise of a terminally ill, usually elderly person is soon followed by the suicide of the grieving spouse. Frankie determines that in most cases the ill partner had been cared for by private duty nurse Faye Sullivan; readers know early that Faye's twin sister Susie has volunteered to comfort the bereaved. Frankie confronts Faye and in the process has a heart attack, leaving him at her mercy. Besides Frankie's pleasantly flawed character, no further surprises redeem Neiderman's predictable plot. (May)