This is the very first professional review on "Alice in Jeopardy." 
October 1, 2004

ALICE IN JEOPARDY (Starred review)

Ed McBain takes a week away from the 87th Precinct for
a kidnapping in Florida without Matthew Hope or any of
his regulars.

Alice Glendenning is just trying to hang in till the life
insurance check comes.  In the eight months since her
stockbroker husband Eddie drowned in the Gulf, the
onetime film student has turned herself into a realtor,
though she has yet to close a single sale, and is
waiting patiently for her eight-year-old son, who hasn't
said a word since Eddie's death, to start talking again.  
Now she's afraid she may have missed her chance for

Jamie and Ashley, her ten-year-old daughter, have
been abducted by a black woman and a blond
accomplice.  And Alice's  bank account is $247,000
short of the quarter mil ransom demand.  Although she
doesn't breathe a word to the law, her housekeeper
isn't nearly so circumspect, and before long the Cape
October Police and the FBI are camping inside her

So are Rafe Matthews, her shiftless brother-in-law;
Jennifer Redding, the twit whose car broke Alice's
ankle; and Charlie Hobbs, her only real friend.  In fact,
Alice, who's felt utterly alone since Eddie's death, finds
that she has just enough friends and neighbors to drive
her crazy.

It's pure pleasure watching all these meddling
well-wishers fall into their appointed places in McBain's
well-oiled plot.  The procedural king makes the whole
caper look so easy you wonder why all suspense
novels aren't this slick.    


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