Picks and Pans Review: Black Widow

updated 01/18/1982 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 01/18/1982 AT 01:00 AM EST

by Christina Crawford

Enough people were curious about actress Joan Crawford to turn Mommie Dearest, written by Christina, her bitter adopted daughter, into a bestseller. Now its author has written a novel, and it's terrible. The title's widow is an evil, beautiful woman who not only has her rich husband killed but is vicious to her stepdaughter and even meaner to her own son. The book is cliché-ridden claptrap whose plot is burdened with a heavy thesis: Juvenile justice in this country is bad. To create a happy ending, one character suddenly has a complete change of heart. If someone less notorious had written it, this amateurish novel would never have been published. (Morrow, $12.95)

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