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Alice in Jeopardy
by Ed McBain

Category: Fiction / Mystery
0 pages; ISBN: 0743262506

Rating: 10/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner


Alice in Jeopardy
Ed McBain
Simon & Schuster, Jan 2005, $25.00, 292 pp.
ISBN: 0743262506

Eight months have passed since stockbroker Eddie Glendenning drowned off of Cape October on the Florida Gulf Coast. His wife Alice struggles to raise their two preadolescent children as her income dwindles to almost nothing while the life insurance company “eternally” processes her claim.

As her bank account is almost empty, Alice unsuccessfully tries to sell real estate. Just when she thinks she is one step from bottoming out, she finds the chasm underneath her feet goes much deeper than she ever imagined. Her two children have been abducted by two people demanding a $250,000 ransom of which she can emit payment in the low four digits unless they accept credit; if she talks to the police, the kidnappers warn of dire consequences. Before Alice can decide what to do Rosie the housekeeper calls the cops. Suddenly Alice feels that she fell through the rabbit hole, as law enforcement, family members, friends, strangers, and other ilk turn her home into a three ring circus.

Whether it is a police procedural or a thriller, no one consistently does it better than Ed McBain does (almost feel sorry for the rest). His latest tale is terrific, hooking the audience from the start as Alice, already struggling for her and her children to survive while also mourning her loss, suddenly finds she falling through a rabbit hole. The story line is action-packed with a fabulous cast especially the heroine, but also humorous as everyone wants to assist (this reviewer kept thinking of Groucho Marx’s ship cabin scene in A Night at the Opera. Bottom line is that Mr. McBain does it again with his latest triumph.

Harriet Klausner


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