I remember reading Lawrence Sanders' The Fourth Deadly Sin in college. We were a group of four and all of us were impressed by it. Somehow or the other though I did not read a Sanders after that. Last year however, I found Sanders' The Case of Lucy Bending being offered at a book sale and picked it up.
Either my memory is faulty or I have outgrown Sanders because the book is nothing but smut. The Bendings, Grace and Ronald, come to child psychiatrist Doctor Theodore Levin (spelled Levin, but pronounced Levine - as we are informed on the first page itself) because they are worried about the sexually deviant behaviour of their eight year old daughter Lucy. The Bendings are part of a high-flying set living on the gold-coast of Florida, where drinks, drugs, sex are all a way of life. Chapter after chapter is devoted to people getting drunk, jumping into each others bed, and generally being disloyal to their spouses. There is also a sub-plot involving the porn industry.
During the therapy, Levin becomes convinced that the root of Lucy's behaviour might lie in an event in the past involving her parents. The problem is that the particular incident has been suppressed not only by Lucy but also by her family and so it's not easy bringing it to light. Moreover, unknown to Levin, things are reaching a boiling point. Would he be able to uncover the secret before it is too late? .
The book comes with screaming recommendations. THE GIANT NEW BESTSELLER reads the top of the cover. Selected by the BOOK - OF - THE - MONTH CLUB reads the bottom. I am not surprised by it being a bestseller - excuse me, GIANT Bestseller - but which is this club that selected it?
First Line: The office was half-nursery.
Title: The Case of Lucy Bending
Author: Lawrence Sanders
Publication Details: New York: Berkley Books, 1983
First Published: 1982
Other Books read of the same author: The Fourth Deadly Sin
The book might be available in libraries and second-hand book stores. I bought it at Delhi Book Fair, last year.
Submitted for the following challenges: 52 Books in 52 Weeks, 2013 Genre Variety, 2013 Mystery/ Crime, Let Me Count the Ways.
Entry for Friday's Forgotten Books