Books: The New Whodunits

THE HIDDEN GRAVE, by Peter Hardin (217 pp.; Harper: $2.75), is the story of Gideon, a fortyish, "handsome granite man, huge, subtly balanced." He has cold grey eyes and cropped grey curls. Men bristle with an atavistic hate in his presence, but women lust after him. Why has Gideon come back to a place he has avoided for 20 years? What is the fascinating secret of Helen, now one of the town's leading citizens, who once loved him unreservedly? Why do the hotelkeeper, the banker and the lawyer first fawn upon him, then try...

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