Fans of Judith McNaught waited a long time for this one! In the
tradition of Sandra Brown, Julie Garwood and Catherine Coulter,
McNaught, a best-selling romance author, is now also writing clear
suspense. This is not her strongest book, though there is much here
to enjoy. McNaught's talent for strong characters holds this one
together during the opening pages when the plot is
Broadway actress Leigh Kendall planned on meeting her husband,
Logan Manning, in a mountain cabin. However she gets lost, is hit
by another car and is rescued near death. Her severe injuries do
not keep her from trying to find her husband, though, as it soon
becomes apparent that he is missing.
Logan has some secrets, but Leigh does too. A childhood
acquaintance steps in to help her when she can trust no one else
and an interesting relationship develops. Sadly, this friend is an
Italian with a prison record and is rumored to have ties to the
mob. While McNaught is possibly trying to show how unfair this
stereotyping can be, it detracts from his characterization. Another
character laboring under stereotypes is the gay Broadway
The minor characters are almost more likable than the major ones.
McNaught fans will recognize Joe O'Hara, chauffeur/bodyguard to
Matt and Meredith Farrell, running characters in her books. A
sister of another favorite character also makes an appearance.
Introduced here are Samantha Littleton and Mitchell McCord,
detectives in the Manning case. Their interaction and sparring
provide some of the most exciting moments in the book. Hopefully,
they will return to solve new cases in McNaught's books.
The villain can be spotted by the middle of the book, which is
where the action really takes off. A second tragedy is a surprise
that helps keep the pages turning toward the conclusion, which
provides satisfying endings for characters that the reader will
grow to care about.
One note: the publication delays on this book were probably not
spent on editing. A tighter plot with earlier sparks among
characters will make future McNaught thrillers even more
Reviewed by Amy Alessio on January 23, 2011