Kate Fansler is a literature professor, lives with her husband Reed, a lawyer, in a city apartment, and is content with her life. She has three brothers whose lifestyles are quite different from her own.
She is therefore slightly surprised when her oldest brother asks her to meet him at his club. He, in fact, wants her to give a blood sample for DNA testing. A man has shown up, claiming to be Kate's father. The DNA test reveals that this man is indeed her father. He had an affair with her mother, now dead, over 50 years ago. So this may be why she is so unlike her brothers, both in looks, and in personality.
The man, Jay, meets Kate, and explains a bit of why he is now showing up. He has been in a Witness Protection Program because he testified against a murderer, someone he knew, and someone with whom he himself had done some criminal activity, namely art theft. Helping with the theft of a piece of art was in a way a means of trying to deal with his lost love, Kate's mother. She wouldn't run away with him, but chose to stay with her husband and sons. Jay is quite a romantic- looking up Kate after all these years was another of his love/revenge actions.
Now Jay is putting both Kate and himself in danger. The man is out of prison and wants to kill him. Kate and Reed hide Jay for a while, then are able to get him to a police station. The man who is after him finds him and threatens to kill both Kate and her father.
There is more of a connection between this man, Charles, and Jay. Charles knew the Fanslers, and he in fact blackmailed Kate's father (or who she thought was her father). He had threatened to make the affair public.
This report prepared by Tena van't Foort
Ballantine, Nov 2002, 22.95, 272 pp.
At age fifty-six, Kate Fansler feels very contented with her life. She's very happy in her marriage to Reed, loves her job as a professor teaching literature to graduate students, and has made peace with the fact that she and her three brothers have nothing in common and very rarely see each other. Thus she is surprised when her oldest brother Laurnce calls with an urgent request to meet at his club.
When she arrives, he tells her that a man going by the name Jason Smith claims to be her biological father and is willing to take a DNA test to prove it. Kate agrees to this and when the results are in, the tests prove conclusively that he is her sire. Kate wants to get to know her father, not realizing that she is in danger from a killer who needs to avenge a crime committed twenty-five years ago involving Jay even if it means using innocent dupes like her as a tool to insure success.
It is always a treat to read a Kate Fansler mystery and THE EDGE OF DOOM is no exception. Readers get to know the heroine in a way they never have before and they will feel closer to her as they are privy to her thought processes. Fans of Shakespeare and literary mysteries will definitely want to read Amanda Cross's latest work, a novel that humanizes her heroine.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner