By Rhonda Johnson
July 12, 1996 at 04:00 AM EDT

Lily White

B+

Susan Isaacs’ seventh novel just might be this summer’s best bang for your beach-book budget. She delivers a double page-turner by interweaving two engrossing stories — a present mystery in which Long Island criminal defense lawyer Lee White defends a con man charged with murdering his latest mark, and the earlier story of Lee’s life as Lily White, daughter of social-climbing parents who changed their name from Weissberg to Weiss to White. Although no stunning connections are ever made between Lee’s involvement with con man Norman Torkelson (who may or may not be taking the rap for his beautiful young girlfriend) and her family history, each narrative in Lily White is a good read, if only loosely linked by themes of murky identity and romantic betrayal. Best of all, in her dissection of Long Island class conflict and social aspirations, Isaacs delivers witty, wicked satire from beginning to end. B+

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