Struggling with the end of his marriage, Jake Rikker has settled in a small community where he and his business partner run a whale tour and a salvage and investigation company. He's an ex- cop with a lot of baggage, but he has a big heart. Hired to find the man stalking Elise St. Dennis, he's determined to keep her from harm.

Elise is a quiet jewelry designer who keeps to herself. A single mom, she's devoted to her daughter. Her vulnerability and distress make it easy for Jake to care for her beyond their professional relationship. But is she telling him the truth or simply imagining things? Or worse?

Hall creates a believable scenario and community in this tame suspense, though readers may have difficulty feeling empathy for Elise and understanding Jake's attraction to her. Some loose ends could have been better dealt with, since this isn't a series. But Jake makes an endearing hero, and Hall leaves the reader wanting more. (Apr., 368 pp., $13.99)
Reviewed by: 
Bev Huston