Books: Notable: Sep. 5, 1983

TENDER PREY by Patricia Roberts

Doubleday; 263 pages; $13.95

The year is 1935, the place New York City. A widow named Mary Stephens answers a personal ad in the Police Gazette and, in the time it now takes for a letter to be mailed crosstown, gets a new husband. John James settles down in her basement apartment and then, after a few weeks, disappears with Junie, the younger of Mary's two daughters. The surviving daughter, Alice, 13, grasps instinctively what Detective Jim Hackett of the department of missing persons grimly suspects: the little girl is dead, a month shy of her tenth birthday,...

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