Bantam, Jan 2001, 21.95, 304 pp.
In the highly visible and dangerously charged Calhoun “Handsome Cal” Whitman murder trial, Atlanta assistant District Attorney Mary Crow attains the homicide conviction. After a particularly ugly final courtroom scene on the part of Cal, Mary returns for the first time in over a decade to her childhood home in Little Jump Off, North Carolina to complete unfinished business. Mary needs closure on the rape-murder of her beloved mother Martha twelve years ago. Accompanying Mary on her hiking trip is friends Alexandra McCrimmon and Joan Marchetti.
However, the camping sojourn turns dangerous as a local individual and Cal's brother attack the three women. As the violence against the trio of females increase, Mary and her cohorts know they must fight back to survive.
IN THE FOREST OF HARM is a distaff version of DELIVERANCE. The story line is exciting and the relationships between the three women is idealistically beautiful yet seemingly genuine. The two predators perform their attacks in a near perfect way as they try to trap their prey. However, those supermen like abilities of the two males add energy and action to a non-stop thriller that should make Sallie Bissell a household name.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner