Picks and Pans Review: Killing in a Small Town

updated 05/21/1990 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/21/1990 AT 01:00 AM EDT

CBS (Tues., May 22, 9 P.M. ET)

B+

In an eerie true-life murder story, Barbara Hershey stars as a station-wagon-driving, Bible-school-teaching wife and mother, a suburban sweetheart in every regard but one: She's a prime suspect in the gruesome ax murder of one of her church klatch.

It's chilling to follow the banal circumstances that lead up to such a savage crime. The movie does not have the accretion of detail that made Evidence of Love, the book on which it is based, such an unnerving read. But it is marked by an evocative sense of place—all these depressing new developments in the prairie sprawl beyond Dallas—and strong, restrained acting, especially by Hershey and Brian Dennehy as her attorney. A warning: You may want to send the kids out of the room when the brutal killing is enacted. In fact, you may want to leave the room yourself.

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