BOOK REVIEW

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THE GRAVEYARD POSITION
ROBERT BARNARD

Attorney Merlyn Docherty returns to England after twenty years living in Brussels for the funeral of his Aunt Clarissa Cantelo, a noted spiritualist. He is also the heir to the Cantelo empire, which angers his extended family; many of whom feel he is an imposter as the real Merlyn has been assumed dead for years.

Rather than sit back while his relatives pick apart his bones like vultures and believing that a dark secret is being concealed from him, Merlyn investigates the Cantelo clan. He especially wants to learn what is being hid and to ascertain the complex coalitions so as to determine who might prove a trustworthy ally. As Merlyn begins to put together the puzzle, one of his loving relatives tries to kill him, upping the ante.

THE GRAVEYARD POSITION is more a bittersweet family drama than an amateur sleuth tale. Merlyn is the only sympathetic character as his clan is used as hyperbole as the family from hell, making the case of nurturing can be hazardous to one's well being. The support cast is so ugly especially towards Merlyn but also somewhat with one another that each illicit scorn from the reader. Thus the dialogues, which are the key device of the plot, are amusing but also overdone, losing somewhat Robert Bernard's sharp wit. Though no BONES IN THE ATTIC, fans will cherish his latest family skeletons in the closet mystery.

REVIEWED BY HARRIET KLAUSNER

DO NOT REPRINT WITHOUT PERMISSION OF THE REVIEWER, HARRIET KLAUSNER

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