Jet Butler returns to her home on an isolated New Mexico mesa after a teaching stint at a West Coast university and finds herself embroiled in the mysterious death of Jas Blankenship, a thoroughly disagreeable alcoholic and would-be novelist who's made plenty of enemies in town. Chief among these is Jet's guesthouse tenant and best friend, artist and activist Kit Willis. Kit's very public feud with Jas (over a plan to lower water levels in the Pecos River) just before he died has made her a prime suspect in what's shaping up to be a murder case. When Caroline Marcus, a woman who claims to be Jas's ex-lover, turns up in search of Jas's missing manuscript, Jet finds herself strangely drawn to her. Caroline knows a great deal about Jet's own past--notably, that she's really Anna Stone, author of a feminist bestseller that indirectly caused the deaths of 67 women and children in an FBI siege of their commune nearly 30 years earlier. It's not long before Jet learns that Caroline isn't who she seems, either--she's a specialist with the Company, a shadowy private "contracting" firm hired to make sure the Pecos River project goes through without interference from Kit or anyone else who might guess what's polluting the river. |
The Woman Who Knew Too Much is a riveting and well-crafted thriller that turned up in the "slush pile" at a small feminist press. The author offers a plot that mixes murder, water rights, environmental hazards, and designer drugs--including a synthetic testosterone with deadly side effects. The lesbian subtext is as unexplained as Jet's growing fascination with the local sheriff in charge of investigating Jas's death. And while Jet is the protagonist and central figure, it's Cordelia Morgan, a.k.a. Caroline Marcus, who stars in this first of a promised series.
Source: Jane Adams, Amazon.com.