In spite of being the illegitimate son of a duke, Brand Hamilton is a self-made man and the respected owner of a fleet of newspapers. He's also contemplating a political career.

But his curiosity is piqued when he receives a letter from his mentor, Edwina Gun, after her death. It mentions the mysterious disappearance of her younger sister Hannah some 20 years ago and the possibility that she was murdered. Edwina also expresses her concern for her niece, Lady Marion Dane who, though a child at the time, might know the murder's identity. Marion remembers Hannah but nothing else about her disappearance.

Brand is not only intrigued by this mystery, he also finds Marion's cool demeanor a challenge and his instincts tell him she's guarding a secret. They join forces to ferret out the decades-old mystery, and it's not too long before Brand discovers who the murderer is. Will he be in time to save Marion from the deranged killer?

With her talent for good writing and mature characters, Thornton pens a compelling mystery that keeps you turning the pages until the breathtaking end. SENSUAL (May, 400 pp., $6.99)
Reviewed by: 
Joan Hammond