Simon & Schuster, Apr 2008, $25.00
In Vermont twentyish single mom Pony Carteret drowns while skinny-dipping at her affluent family’s vacation home. While the local police investigate the drowning death, the Carteret brood back in Hartford argues over what happened to her and why and who will take in her infant son Andrew since they do not know the name of the father. Pony’s widower father Jasper and her oldest sister Tinker are mostly interested in burying the scandal, but for now the latter takes in the child.
That same day that Pony died, she pleaded with her older brother William to come up to the Vermont house to talk where they argued. William feels guilty that he left her there, wondering if the accident or suicide was caused by her being distraught or homicide by her lover, her family, or someone else related to why Pony met with him. He needs to know so he investigates starting from the picture of their late mom taken with another man who is not their father. Meanwhile middle daughter Mira meets Keith at the funeral and begins seeing him; he persuades Mira and Tinker that their brother and their late sister were more than friendly siblings.
Filled with plenty of twists especially when William turns amateur sleuth, the aptly titled PERFECT FAMILY is a wonderful tale of a wealthy New England dysfunctional clan. The story line is character driven by the siblings, the patriarch and William’s girlfriend; however, the key player their late mom never seems fully developed though all dynamic lines flow through her as even long dead she remains the hub of the Carteret family. Fans will appreciate Pam Lewis’ entertaining thriller as the secrets keep on coming out.