cover image The Good House

The Good House

Ann Leary. St. Martin's, $24.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-250-01554-9

Hildy Good is a realtor in Wendover, the little Massachusetts town where she's lived her entire life. Smalltown life inevitably brings smalltown gossip, and Hildy is no exception: "I know pretty much everything that happens in this town. One way or another, it gets back to me." Suffering from alcoholism and marital problems, Hildy's always in search of distractions. Emboldened by a self-professed ability to read people%E2%80%94bordering on what she considers ESP%E2%80%94Hildy finds the intrigue she's been looking for when Boston hedge fund owner Brian McAllister and his wife, Rebecca, move to town. With her characteristic vigilance, Hildy soon uncovers a burgeoning affair between Rebecca and a local psychiatrist. As confidante, blackmailer, and real-estate broker to both Rebecca and Peter, the psychiatrist who rents the upstairs office, Hildy's entanglements not only threaten the lives of others but also tease out her own problems and self-delusions. In this second novel (after Outtakes from a Marriage), Leary creates a long-winded and melodramatic Peyton Place, but convincingly displays the corrosive and sometimes dire consequences of denial and overconfidence. Agent: Maria Massie, Lippincot Massie McQuilkin. (Jan.)