Although it holds bad memories, Lt. Colonel Jessica Blackwell doesn't let her return to Valpariso, FL, stop her from performing her duties at Eglin Air Force Base. Twenty-five years ago, something horrible happened to Jessica's mother. All Jessica remembers is that the town sheriff came to their door and ran them out of town.

Now the current sheriff, Steve Paxton, has a mystery on his hands. One of the town's longtime residents has committed suicide, and the only clue is that the man's wife heard Jessica's name mentioned shortly before the death. When someone rear-ends Jessica on a dark road, shoving her car off a bridge, she is lucky to escape with her life. With more suspicious deaths piling up, Steve begins to suspect that the current violence is tied to events of the past. Unfortunately, the person with the most obvious grudge against the growing list of victims is Jessica herself.

Author Merline Lovelace's characters are tough, well drawn and compelling. Jessica and Steve's struggle to make sense of the mystery makes for riveting drama and gripping suspense. Another powerhouse performance! (Feb., 320 pp., $6.99)

Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith