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The River House

B-

Ginnie Holmes, unsatisfied wife and nagging mother, confesses: ”I would like to be someone different, to be confident, at ease. . .a woman who perhaps has a vibrator discreet as a silvery lipstick hidden in her handbag.” Ginnie never quite gets there, but she does strike up an affair with Will, a ”smoke and cinnamon”-scented detective. During a tryst in an abandoned house on the Thames, Ginnie witnesses something that seems criminal. Unfortunately, Margaret Leroy waits until almost halfway through this predictable but engaging novel — The River House — for that plot turn, forcing her to cover a lot of ground in the second half. Ginnie’s dilemma about whether to tell the cops (thus outing her affair) is quickly resolved, and the conclusion — full of soap-operatic moments and unrealistic encounters — leaves you also wishing Ginnie were someone different.

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