Now You See Her, by Linda Howard

>> Tuesday, March 09, 2004

I have quite a few Linda Howard books I'd like to reread. The first, Now You See Her.

A talented landscape painter and portrait artist in her early thirties, Paris Sweeney has achieved enviable success: her work sells at an exclusive New York City gallery owned by her friend, Candra Worth, and her popularity is at an all-time high. Sweeney, as she is affectionately called by those close to her, loves her work and is content with her life.

Then she begins to notice odd changes: traffic lights turn green when she approaches. Her plants are in full bloom out of season. Perhaps they're jist coincidences, but she can't ignore her dreams -- lush, vivid, and drenched in vibrant hues -- which are influencing her artwork. And she can't deny her growing restlessness....Suddenly, impulsively, Sweeney finds herself unable to resist a night of intense passion with millionaire Richard Worth, Candra's estranged husband. But the true dangers of her all-consuming urges are about to be revealed where Sweeney least expects it: in her paintings.

After a creative frenzy she can barely recall, Sweeney discovers she has rendered a disturbing image -- a graphic murder scene. Against her better instincts, she returns to the canvas time and again, filling out each chilling detail piece by piece -- a shoe, the body of a victim, and soon, the victim's face. But when a shattering, real-life murder mirrors her creation, Sweeney is thrust into suspicious light. Now, with every stroke of her brush, she risks incriminating herself with her inexplicable knowledge of a deadly crime. And every desire -- including her hungry attraction to Richard -- is loaded with uncertainty and terrifying discovery as Sweeney races to unmask a killer.
Now You See Her had a plot somewhat reminiscent of Dream Man, but it was a very different book, both in tone and in the characters. A B-.

As much as I was intrigued by the suspense subplot, with the neat paranormal touches, I just wish there had been a little more emphasis on the romance. It's just that I thought these two characters were a bit of a departure for Howard. Richard, for one, is one of Howards less Howard-esque heroes. I mean, the guy is almost beta in certain ways. He's always supportive and kind to Sweeney, always reasonable and low-key. Strange that what I liked best about him was precisely what made him different to most of this author's heros :-)

An interesting, enjoyable book.


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