Abby Conners's father, Jud, a successful novelist and her personal hero, is found murdered in his cabin on a remote Oregon lake. As the police pursue their usual avenues, Abby searches his manuscripts and papers for answers of her own. Jud's neighbors often said they saw themselves in his novels. Could he have portrayed one of them too clearly? As she digs for clues, her husband, Brice, voices concern that she's ignoring him and his reversals of fortune as an investment broker. Abby is about to inherit big money from her father's latest best seller and the subsequent movie rights. Could Brice be the killer? Her research reveals not only the recipient of Jud's unexplained cashier's checks but the real reason for his repeated trips to San Francisco. As her questions about Jud are answered, much bigger concerns about her husband and his possible motives for murder arise. Wilhelm (No Defense) is a first-rate novelist. Her characters are well drawn, the setting is real, and the pace keeps the reader raptly involved to the last page. Fans will love this, and readers who have enountered Wilhelm's previous works are in for a real treat. Highly recommended.DSusan Clifford Braun, Aerospace Corp., El Segundo, CA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Set in and around her own Eugene, Ore., prolific Wilhelm's latest tale (after The Good Children) of psychological suspense reinforces the solid reputation she's earned for her 40-odd books published since 1963. Abby Connors is mourning the death of her father, bestselling novelist Jud Vickers, at the age of 48. Jud was a womanizing former ne'er-do-well who had recently found success, only to be murdered at his remote lakefront cabin. The local police baffled, Abby soon finds herself doing her own sleuthing, much to the dismay of her husband, Brice, a financial planner who was always jealous of Jud's primary place in Abby's heart. As Abby investigates further, she discovers secrets in Jud's past as well as an unfinished novel. Aware that Jud always based characters and events on people he actually knew, Abby begins to wonder: does the identity of the murderer and the motive lie within those unpublished pages? The brief forays into Jud's novel within the novel are sometimes over-the-top, and some readers may feel cheated by the subtle, nonconfrontational climax. The star of the book, strangely, is the cabin itself, a perversely menacing version of a Thomas Kincade painting and a deliciously eerie setting for the mystery and murder, beckoning the reader to step inside. Then, too, Abby is a plucky heroine whose steely patience serves her well even amid grief and bewilderment. Meanwhile, the ever-present specter of the murdererÄcasting doubt on the behavior of everyone Abby has contact withÄkeeps the edginess quotient high. (Oct.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
"Wilhelm is a master of psychological fiction".-- Library Journal