This powerhouse pair combines their talents in another fascinating pair of novellas. Their two short stories seamlessly blend the best of both authors and utilize several of the characters made famous in their previous novels. This is one collaboration that really works.

The opening novella, "My Sister's Keeper," is set in Berkley, Calif., where prominent state legislator Davida Grayson is found murdered in her office. As detectives Will Barnes and Amanda Isis search for the killer of the controversial activist, their list of suspects grows and expands in unusual directions. Are long-buried secrets the reason Davida was killed?

"Music City Breakdown" is set in Nashville, where the brutal murder of former music legend Jack Jeffries stuns many. This case illustrates the broken dreams and hearts that litter the sidewalks of Nashville and will lead its two detectives, Baker Southerby and Lamar Von Grundy, to examine not only the tortured life of a has-been star but their own lives as well. (BALLANTINE, Dec., 394 pp., $24.95)

Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith