cover image In Double Jeopardy

In Double Jeopardy

Andrew Neiderman. Pocket Books, $6.99 (384pp) ISBN 978-0-671-01561-9

Neiderman's (Tender Loving Care) latest is the literary equivalent of a straight-to-video film with a murderer hell-bent on ridiculous schemes and crafty, handsome FBI agents dithering around with all-too-obvious clues. Dirk Stoner kills his wife, Farah Ross, and is sentenced to die by lethal injection. However, thanks to his wealthy father, Philip Stoner, an elaborate plan is hatched involving prison personnel, cosmetic surgeons and language instructors to fake Dirk's death and turn him into Jonathan Lewis. Eventually, Dirk/Jonathan escapes from his handlers and heads off to get Elaine, Farah's sister, for reasons that are never satisfactorily explained. As well, the novel is plagued by awkward dialogue (""I'm afraid the screwdriver Dirk drove into Farah went through her and into your father's heart as well"") and flat characterization. (Nov.)