FFB: The Case of Lucy Bending by Lawrence Sanders

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

Pages: 410

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

8 thoughts on “FFB: The Case of Lucy Bending by Lawrence Sanders

  1. Neer, I don't recall reading this particular Sanders novel but I have read my share of his books as well as other popular fiction by his contemporaries. I enjoyed the Deadly Sin series. I find his paperbacks in secondhand bookstores in Mumbai selling at Rs 10-20 each and I think I still have one or two lying around the house.


  2. Prashant, I too picked it up for Rs.20 but even that seems high for this book. Haven't really read much of Sanders to comment but this book was the pits. Perhaps I should read one from the Deadly Sin series to see whether it works.


  3. I was interested when I saw that you had reviewed this book because I really liked the Deadly Sins books years ago. Haven't read this one and it doesn't sound like I would like it either. So I am glad I saw your review before deciding to try it.


  4. I am glad you thought so too. The only good thing that came out of this book was that I exchanged it for another paperback which hopefully would read better than this.


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