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By Julie Parsons

Simon & Schuster, March, 2000 (304 pages) $24.00
ISBN # 0684869829

Reviewed by Cathy Gladstone

THE COURTSHIP GIFT, set in Dublin, Ireland, is a psychological thriller involving a stalker with a different slant.

You will sympathize with the main character, Anna Neale, who comes home from work and finds her husband dead, supposedly from anaphylactic shock caused by a bee sting. However, a fter finding a box addressed to her husband, it doesn't take Anna long to realize that this was not an accident, but murder. When events start to unfold that show the other life, her husband was leading, she soon realizes that her reality of the marriage was quite different from the actual reality they were both living.

On the other hand you will hate the stalker, Matthew Makepiece, who has been watching from a distance and now befriends her, at a time when she is most gullible.

Why is this book called, THE COURTSHIP GIFT? How can this woman be so silly in her relationships with men, especially the second time? Will she be murdered just as her husband was or will she manage to escape from the grave predicament in which she has entwined herself? The answers to these questions make the book, THE COURTSHIP GIFT, an interesting read.

I think this book should be required reading for high school girls, to show what can happen to a well educated woman, who is clever enough to hold a responsible job at a museum, but fickle enough to fall in love with a man without delving into his background and character, not only once with her husband, but on the rebound with Matthew Makepiece. It makes you wonder just how gullible a woman can be.

Other books by Julie Parsons: MARY, MARY.

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