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Suspicion of Deceit

Barbara Parker
Dutton, 1998. 352pp
ISBN: 0-525-9440-X

review by Harriet Klausner

All is going well in the life of Miami lawyer Gail Connor after her recent debacles (see Suspicion of Innocenceand Suspicion of Guilt). She has opened up a private practice and is engaged to high powered defense attorney Anthony Quintana. Gail has recently been hired as the council to the Miami Opera House, a plum assignment until it is learned that the star once performed in Cuba. This is considered a grave insult to South Florida’s Cuban exiles. A negative media campaign begins and anonymous threats of violence towards anyone associated with the opera house occurs.

When one of the directors of the opera house plans to debate a fervently anti-Castro talk show host, Gail tries to stop him. While the board member and Gail argue in the parking lot outside the studio, a sniper fires, killing the director and wounding Gail. As the tension escalates, more deaths occur. The murders seem to lead back to Anthony and the time he and some friends(now on the Miami Opera Board) served as volunteers in Nicaragua. Gail asks her fiancé pointed questions about the link, but he refuses to respond. This pushes Gail to seek other sources for her answers, thereby placing her life in danger.

Suspicion of Deceit is Barbara Parker’s best work in a string of bestsellers. This time the focus is on Gail’s relationship with her fiancé, whose angst is caused by the conflict between his heritage and his assimilation into America culture. The well crafted murder mystery includes varying scenarios that make it nearly impossible to identify the killer even though the clues are laid out for the reader to find. This book has cross-over appeal that should widen Ms. Parker’s audience as well as gain her numerous kudos.

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