Picks and Pans Review: Mexico Bay

updated 04/12/1982 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 04/12/1982 AT 01:00 AM EST

by Paul Horgan

A beautiful socialite has four men in love with her: her father (a newspaper owner), her husband (a playwright), her lover (an artist) and an old admirer (a history professor). The book begins shortly before World War II, and many of its scenes are brilliant in their depiction of the excitement of those years. The events are melodramatic, with murder and a hurricane putting an end to her affair with the artist. Horgan (the author of 40 books) is a careful, sensible writer with a fine sense of place. He creates a most convincing wartime Washington, and does even better with his scenes on the beach in south Texas, in Corpus Christi and in a little town not far from Amarillo. The soap opera plotting is forgiven. (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $12.95)

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