Books: Edge of Darkness

THE BRIGADIER AND THE GOLF WIDOW by John Cheever. 275 pages. Harper & Row. $4.95.

Lazing beside the Westerhazys' green pool one Sunday afternoon, Neddy Merrill decides to swim home. It pleases him to imagine that his neighbors' swimming pools form the course of a broad river winding through fertile fields to the grounds of his own fine house. He names the river after his wife Lucinda and sets out at a choppy crawl. At the Grahams' he is given a drink, and at the Bunkers', where a pool party is going on, he...

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