St. Martin's, July 2002, 23.95, 364 pp.
She is the ugly duckling in a family of swans. Her mother has three doctorates; her father is a Ph.D. who advises world leaders; while her brother is an internist. Lee Donne has changed her major three times and in four years she doesn't have enough credits to graduate. She takes her grandfather up on his offer to house sit for five months while she regroups but when she settles in, a strange man tosses gravel at her house at night.
Lee and Casey set a trap to catch the man but it backfires and he dies. Lee decides to find out what she is looking for but when she discovers a hidden door in the floor of the photo lab. There she discovers her family's darkest secret, their ties to the Klan. She also finds existence that a third party candidate running for the president once participated in a Klan lynching. Lee has the journalistic story of a life time but she has to live through various attempts or her life to see it in print.
Kate Wilhelm is the mistress of psychological suspense and she proves it with SKELETONS, an electrifying tale filled with so many serpentine twists, readers are always taken by surprise by the plot developments. The maturation of the heroine from innocent protected schoolgirl to fugitive from a well hidden cell of fanatics rings true and shows the depth of the author's skills.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner