March 28, 1997 at 05:00 AM EST

Risking Elizabeth

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Walter McCloskey
genre
Fiction
We gave it a B

Ghosts of dead relatives and old noir films haunt this deft first novel. There’s nothing terribly original in the story of Harry Preston, a New Orleans lawyer and widowed dad who falls under the spell of a socialite with secrets — nothing except the tone of wary emotional clarity. Walter McCloskey has written a quiet thriller, which only sounds perverse until you realize how perceptive Harry is to nuances of bayou class and morality. In Risking Elizabeth, the author sketches a picture of the French Quarter you could use as a map and shows the wordless love that can arise between a man and his 9-year-old son.

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