Sally and Dan were perfectly happy and deeply in love. Their lives had been blissful since their meeting in the Parisian shop with the silver musical carousel like the one they have at Hawthorne, their family estate. But now their oldest daughter, five-year-old Tina, disrupts their lives with violence and withdrawal and they seek professional help.

The psychiatrist's diagnosis-that Tina has been molested-should cause wild suspicion of every contact in the girl's active young life. Instead, Sally (and later Dan) decides that such a horrendous thing could not happen within the confines of their lifestyle. The possible guilt of a family member never even occurs to them.

But the reader quickly knows better. Dan's sister Amanda now wants her full quarter share of Grey's Foods to finance a home for abused girls from dysfunctional families. Her determination to get the money links her to the destructive behavior hidden by members of this family and to the terrible secret of the silver carousel.

In THECAROUSEL Belva Plain combines her well-known skill as a writer of family sagas with elements of suspense and mystery, As always, her characters fully engage, as does her corporate setting. The innovative ending of this beautiful novel reminds us that the justice we know as blind is also poetic. (July, 432 pp., $23.95)

Reviewed by: 
Gerry Benninger