by Lisa Jackson

Lisa Jackson has written a number of intriguing series titles built
around attractive but realistic characters who are experiencing
unusual but believable adventures in exotic settings. Perhaps
Jackson's greatest strength is her ability to balance the romantic
with the suspenseful, providing enough elements of both genres to
attract the respective fans of each and molding them into a
storyline that holds the attention of both sets of readers. Her
eagerly anticipated SHIVER meets all expectations and is a prime
example of how a talented writer can broaden the horizons and
appeal of disparate audiences.

SHIVER marks the return of Police Detective Reuben Montoya to
pre-Katrina New Orleans, where he is thrust into the middle of a
high-profile murder investigation. It begins when the bodies of
Luke Gierman, a local radio shock jock, and a young college student
are found. Initially thought to be a murder-suicide, the bizarre
staging of the killing and the lack of a cohesive link between the
two individuals quickly lead the police to believe that both were
homicide victims.

The investigation brings Montoya into contact with Abby Chastain,
Gierman's ex-wife. Chastain, the subject of an on-air rant by
Gierman shortly before his death, is a logical but unlikely
suspect. When a local munitions manufacturer and the head of a
social organization are found murdered under somewhat similar
circumstances, with a further link to Chastain, Montoya begins to
understand the pattern of the killings, even as he becomes more
emotionally enamored with Chastain. It also becomes clear to the
reader that the unknown murderer is growing more obsessed with
Chastain and that the key to it all may be the closed, but
not-quite-abandoned, mental hospital where Chastain's mother fell
to her death decades before; this may hold the key to her own fate
as well.

As always, Jackson paints with an atmospheric brush dipped in
subtle darkness. The novel is focused more on Chastain than
Montoya, yet Montoya is a brooding, attractive presence as he draws
in the killer --- even as he and Chastain pirouette around each
other as they're pulled slowly yet inexorably closer, and Chastain
becomes the penultimate target of a killer who is as mysterious and
brutal as he is clever and cunning.

SHIVER is fully deserving of its status as the first of Jackson's
works to be published initially in hardcover. And while it has a
definite ending, SHIVER gives promise to new beginnings in its
conclusions --- not only for Montoya, but also for Chastain. This
is one novel that Jackson fans will not want to miss.

Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on April 26, 2011

by Lisa Jackson

  • Publication Date: April 4, 2006
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Kensington
  • ISBN-10: 075821393X
  • ISBN-13: 9780739465646