Beach book of the week
When accused College Hill rapist Eddie Como is shot dead moments before his trial in Providence, his alleged victims—who meet to discuss vengeance in a tight-knit support group they call the Survivors Club—are suspected of hiring the hit man. Yet despite the women's clear motive, Det. Sgt. Roan Griffin has a hunch the culprit is someone else—particularly when the College Hill rapist strikes again, days after Como's death.
Showing a flair for lip-biting suspense, bestselling novelist Gardner (The Next Accident) combs out a tangled plot to an engrossing, if not entirely plausible, effect. Though nicely foreshadowed, the resolution leans too hard on such daytime-TV ploys as trauma-induced amnesia. A contrived romance between one of the survivors and Griffin stalls the otherwise riveting action. Warning: Gardner dishes out graphic violence with near-forensic detail, so this isn't one to read over lunch. (Bantam, $23.95)
Bottom Line: This club is worth the dues