Still Waters

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Eighteen-year-old Laura Spencer comes home one day to find her mother and sister brutally murdered. What remains of her family is shattered by the discovery that the woman arrested for the killings - a wealthy and talented young artist - is her father's mistress. Beneath the previously tranquil surface of her family life, Laura finds a seething caldron of passion and deceit. Catherine Liem, charged with murder, embarks on a parallel course of discovery about the dark side of her privileged upbringing. Her defense...
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New York, NY 1995 Hard cover Good. Go green, recycle! Book may have wear from reading, may contain some library markings. Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. With dust jacket. 285 ... p. Read more Show Less

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Overview

Eighteen-year-old Laura Spencer comes home one day to find her mother and sister brutally murdered. What remains of her family is shattered by the discovery that the woman arrested for the killings - a wealthy and talented young artist - is her father's mistress. Beneath the previously tranquil surface of her family life, Laura finds a seething caldron of passion and deceit. Catherine Liem, charged with murder, embarks on a parallel course of discovery about the dark side of her privileged upbringing. Her defense to the crimes is that they were committed by Laura's brother, a fourteen-year-old afflicted with Down syndrome, who claims to have been in a closet a few feet away at the time of the killings. As the lives of Laura and Catherine intertwine, both struggle with the intrigue and despair that consumes them. It is Laura who must confront the ugly truth about her family - and herself - in order to free them. In this fast-paced, provocative family drama, Margaret Woodward weaves together a story packed with unexpected plot twists and surprising courtroom revelations, exposing a troubled web of deceit beneath the still waters.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
After a slow start, Woodward's first novel, which centers on the aftermath of a murder, gathers steam and offers an engaging read. Set in a small Alabama city, the story concerns the trauma wrought on the Spencer family when a mother and her 15-year-old daughter are brutally stabbed to death in the foyer of their fine Old Spring Hill home. The narrative is related from the alternating points of view of a surviving daughter, 17-year-old Laura ``Duck'' Spencer, and of the woman charged with the murder, her father's mistress, artist Catherine Liem. Credible, colorful characters abound, particularly Duck, who commands the reader's allegiance as she journeys through the anguish of losing mother and sister, intense hatred for her father, whom she feels has betrayed her family, disappointment in her first serious relationship and horror at the the eventual revelations about her mother. Woodward, a New Orleans attorney, puts her professional expertise to good use in depicting the legal consequences of the killing: grand jury proceedings, courthouse politics, jailhouse situations. In addition, she renders the Alabama gulf shore with care and maintains suspense until the conclusion, which contains a dandy surprise. Despite some patches of wooden dialogue, this is a memorable literary debut. (Jan.)
School Library Journal
YA-Laura Spencer, known to friends and family as Duck, returns home after shopping for her graduation dance dress to find her mother and sister brutally murdered and her little brother, Junior, a Down Syndrome child, hiding in a closet. Catherine Liem, Duck's father's girlfriend, is arrested and charged with the murders based on circumstantial evidence. Each of the family members experiences great difficulty in coping with the situation-Mr. Spencer retreats into silence, Duck's sexual intimacy with her boyfriend ends in disaster, and Junior keeps hiding. The family maid and Duck's grandmother provide loving support and comfort vital to the healing process. Sentenced to life in prison without parole, Catherine attempts suicide; two days later the real killer confesses. Woodward weaves a story with incredibly complete interpersonal relationships. Characterization is strong and readers are kept in suspense until the very end. A real page turner.-Grace Baun, R.E. Lee High School, Springfield, VA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399139901
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/1/1994
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 9.32 (w) x 6.30 (h) x 1.01 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2003

    best written mystery i have ever read

    this was the best thought out mystery I have ever read. It really took someone with a lot of intelligence to write a book like this. It was slow reading at first but I couldnt put it down after a few chapters.

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