D.A. investigator Bill King's quiet life, living with his sister Lora in Los Angeles in 1954, changes when he witnesses a traffic accident and comes to the aid of a beautiful young woman, Alice Steele, a seamstress at a Hollywood studio. Shortly after they meet, Bill and Alice marry, and now she and Lora are constantly thrown together. Alice even gets a job at the high school where Lora teaches.

Although Alice seems to enjoy being a wife, she remains friends with some very shady characters from her past. When one of them, an abused young woman who had been a prostitute, is murdered, Lora believes that Bill's career is in danger due to his association with Alice's "friends."

While Abbott, who has taught at New York State universities, is a good writer, it's hard to identify with any of the characters. Lora is more than a little obsessed with her brother and his career, but her actions aren't believable, and she seems overly stuck-up and prudish. Bill is pretty much of a nonentity, and Alice is the one character with life to her. In spite of the book's length, the story is a little thin. (Feb., 288 pp., $23.00)
Reviewed by: 
Lorraine Gelly