Sunday, December 14, 2014

The White Dress: Review

The White Dress is one of the most romantic-thriller-esque examples in Mignon Eberhart's work--at least of those I've read so far. The reader knows exactly what's in store from page one when Marny Sanderson steps off the plane in Miami.

She faced an unexpected and obscurely frightening thought; it was nonsense and yet it had a certain authority strong enough for Marny to pause a second, her hand on the railing, caught by an absurd compulsion to retreat, to turn around, re-enter the plane, go back to New York, go anywhere, but go. It was exactly as if she were afraid of something, as if some vague and unaccountable uneasiness, unrealized or, at least, certainly not acknowledged, had crystallized that moment and become fear.

Her feeling of uneasiness grows when at a secluded pool on her employer's luxurious Biscayne Bay island estate, she finds herself in the arms of a handsome stranger and then being kissed by the handsome and charming Andre Durant. It changes to terror verging on hysteria when she encounters an unknown woman who proves to be Durant's estranged wife. Her sense of foreboding is proved right when all events lead to a single conclusion--murder! Her well-ordered life--the life of the perfect secretary, devoted to her her job--is turned upside down...she learns about love and lust, horror and fear. And she learns that behind one of the familiar faces on the small island lurks the heart of a killer.

I generally like Mignon Eberhart--but I prefer the stories with her recurring characters Sarah Keate & Lance O'Leary or Susan Dare to her stand-alone romantic thrillers. Not that the thrillers are bad; they're just not my particular cup of tea. This one is a good example of the type--plenty of romantic tension, lots of suspicion to go around, and an effort to put our heroine on the spot and frame her up for murder. A decent read for me at ★★ and I'd bet that those who like their mysteries with a romantic-suspense twist would rate it higher.


fredamans said...

It sounds like its fast-paced enough for me. Great review!

Ryan said...

I've tried to read a non Sarah Keate book, and I didn't like it that well. I stopped reading it a third of the way in, and may never go back to finish it. I wonder what I would think of this one.