Picks and Pans Review: You Belong to Me
The lonely middle-aged daughter of a Manhattan philanthropist disappears from a cruise ship in Hong Kong. Three years later, radio talk show psychologist Susan Chandler discusses the unsolved mystery on the air. Callers flood Chandler with tips, and she turns armchair detective. The suspects include a lawyer with a nasty gambling habit and a psychologist who wrote about his wife's disappearance four years earlier.
This is the setup for Clark's 19th book, a thriller with few thrills. The biggest surprise is how such cliché-ridden writing got past its editors. Clark's characters—who actually say things like "I wish he'd learned to smell the flowers"—all talk and think suspiciously alike, whether they're tough-guy cops or classy Fifth Avenue types. But You Belong to Me's best howler comes when Chandler, who has been bound, gagged and wrapped up in a giant plastic bag by the killer, tells him, "You need help, a lot of help." So does this book. (Simon & Schuster, $25)
Bottom Line: Deadly bore