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The Killer's Cousin    by Nancy Werlin order for
Killer's Cousin
by Nancy Werlin
Order:  USA  Can
Laurel Leaf, 2000 (1998)
Hardcover, Paperback

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* * *   Reviewed by Lyn Seippel

David Bernard Yaffe is tried for murdering his girlfriend and acquitted. After the trial, his parents send him to Boston to live with his uncle's family during his senior year of high school. David accepts the move, but he is hurt and feels that his dad doesn't want him around.

The Shaughnessy family is no stranger to grief. David's cousin Kathy killed herself at eighteen, David's age now. David soon realizes that the family is falling apart. Neither his Uncle Vic nor his Aunt Julia speak to one another. His eleven-year-old cousin Lily acts as go-between and her satisfaction with her role is disturbing.

Julia doesn't want him there. Lily is angry that he has been given the attic apartment which she thought should be hers. He will be the first person to live there since Kathy died.

David's relationship with the Shaughnessy family is tentative and when Lily begins staging pranks, he isn't believed. He is sure Lily has emotional problems, but who will believe David, whose own sanity is in question?

Werlin has written a tight, suspenseful, psychological thriller with an original plot and realistic characters. She knows how to keep the reader turning pages.

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