Picks and Pans Review: Death by Station Wagon

updated 02/08/1993 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/08/1993 AT 01:00 AM EST

by Jon Katz

The unlikely hero of this '90s detective novel is Christopher "Kit" Deleeuw, a onetime Wall Streeter who narrowly escaped an insider-trading rap and now divides his time between carpooling his kids and trailing cheating husbands.

Kit's new low-key life is turned upside down when two popular teenagers from his New Jersey suburb are found dead in a station wagon. Murder-suicide, say police. Friends of the dead teens think otherwise, and they turn to Kit, who's hardly Columbo. Even they, however, are unprepared for the shocking truth he finds.

Katz's writing isn't as strong as his innovative concept, but with its clever twists and Big Chill sentiments, Station Wagon's plot never stalls. (Doubleday, $17)

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