BALANCING IN HIGH HEELS

Author(s): 
At first glance, a book about vigilante strippers might seem to have humorous possibilities but not much else going for it. But Rendahl's latest has plenty of depth. It follows Alissa, a lawyer who ruins her career by taking her frustrations out on innocent office equipment and must move back to her hometown to restore her life and her law practice.

Soon she's representing Sheila, a stripper who sports a butterfly tattoo and lingerie, while righting wrongs both small and large and falling for E.J. Rodriguez, the cop in charge of the case. Alissa is caught in an ethical quandary—upholding the law is her job, but her sympathies lie with Sheila's vigilantes.

Ultimately, this is a book about finding your purpose in life, a theme that echoes throughout subplots involving Alissa's unhappy best friend and her widowed mother's loneliness. While the secondary characters are unevenly drawn, there are many small moments, such as tense family meals and a dying child's painful blood draws, that are exquisitely done. (May, 352 pp., $13.00)
Reviewed by: 
Donna Carter