The strangling of millionaire hotelier J.P. Stratton's fiancee, Francesca Hill, on the eve of their wedding would be a high-priority case for New Orleans homicide detective Charlotte "Charlie" Le Blanc even if Stratton weren't well connected. The crime scene so forcefully reminds Charlie of her younger sister's murder that she's instantly convinced that the same killer is responsible -- and she's determined to bring him down.

Unfortunately, there's no shortage of suspects. Francesca led a far-from-blameless life, and even Stratton's children had reasons for wanting her dead. His eldest son, Cole, is an ex-Navy SEAL turned security expert -- and the most attractive suspect, in more than one sense. Charlie is strongly drawn to Cole and instinct tells her he's not guilty, but is she willing to stake her life on her feelings?

Hingle scores once more with this chilling, well-plotted tale. An effective procedural, it also has the heart that many similar stories often lack. (Mar., 384 pp., $6.99)
Reviewed by: 
Catherine Witmer