>> Tuesday, August 02, 2005
I took a risk buying 3 books Harper Allen
without ever having read anything by her (without ever having even heard of her, actually), but the gamble seems to be paying off. The Man That Got Away was a good read, and so was The Night in Question.
FBI Agent Max Ross, the man who put Julia Tennant behind bars for supposedly killing her wealthy and powerful husband, suddenly realizes his mistake. Thus, Julia warily joins forces with him to discover the identity of the killer and possibly regain custody of her young daughter. A heroine who will do anything to keep her daughter safe, a hero who needs to come to terms with his past, and suspenseful, riveting action keep readers engaged in an intricately plotted story that eventually unravels in a satisfactory but most unexpected way.In fact, TNIQ was even better. A B+.
This is one book that grabbed me from the very first page and never let go. I meant to read only a few pages before going to bed, but once I started it, I only surfaced almost an hour later, almost halfway through the story.
Those first pages are just amazing, with Julia just out of prison and having to deal with Max following her everywhere and pretty much harassing her, because he thinks she got out of jail on a technicality and is guilty of killing her husband and trying to kill her daughter, too.
Those pages until Max realizes the truth... wow! I read the entire thing with a lump in my throat, almost crying for Julia. She's a very tortured heroine, not just because of her experiences in jail (though those were horrific enough... the scene in which Max finds out what exactly is that weird mark on her hand was very powerful), but because of an overwhelming guilt for certain decisions made years before, especially before her marriage.
Once they start working together, after an angsty scene in which Max sees the light (a scene helpfully excerpted on the first page by those damn Harlequin editors), the book does become a teeny bit less emotional, but still quite good.
The mystery that is at the heart of the book is interesting and well constructed, but it's the romance that makes it a winner. Even when their relationship is at its most adversarial, when Max still considers Julia a black widow spider, these two fairly sizzle. It turns out Max is just as tortured as Julia, and the scenes in which she basically brings him back to life emotionally were wonderful.
Truly a buried treasure, this author!