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by Rochelle Krich
Ballantine, October 2002
337 pages
ISBN: 0345449711

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

True crime writer Molly Blume, perusing the LA area police blotters prior to writing her weekly column for a suburban throwaway, gets a frisson when she reads about a young woman, clad only in a nightgown, who had been hit by a car late at night. She follows her hunch to Lenore Saunders bedside in intensive care, and hears 3 names whispered, "Robbie, Max, Nina" before Lenore's mother returns and has her thrown out.

After Lenore is found dead in her hospital bed, Molly, guilt stricken, tries to reconstruct her life. She drives out to Twentynine Palms, Lenore's home town and talks to her friend, Nina. Lenore was an only child raised by foster parents when her mother wasn't around and intermittently by her mother, a single parent. Lenore wanted to get out of town and marry well. She did both, but was not any happier.

Molly Blume is an engaging character with a couple of published true crime books to her credit. She is also a very religious person, and this is where I had trouble with the book. I have personal issues with the orthodox of any religion, including my own. Molly's "modern orthodox" Judaism seems grafted onto the plot rather than being a part of it, unless Krich was trying to say that one has to adhere closely to one's religious teachings in order to have a happy and close family life, which reasoning seems specious to me.

Reviewed by Barbara Franchi, March 2003

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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