Gifted artist Ann Marcel is extremely annoyed to once again be waiting on her ex-husband and best friend, Jon Marcel. When Jon finally does show up, he collapses at her feet, bleeding from numerous stab wounds. Before slipping into a coma, Jon cryptically whispers the words "I didn't do it," and "Annabella's".

New Orleans Police Lieutenant Mark LaCrosse and Detective Jimmy Deveaux are both convinced that Jon fatally stabbed stripper Gina L'Aveau and was seriously injured himself during the struggle. Ann is angry and defiant when she is questioned by the police. She cannot believe that Jon murdered a woman. A famous painter, Jon had been working on a series of paintings called the Red Light Ladies. Gina had been one of his subjects, and Jon had fallen in love with her.

Despite her anger with his tunnel vision concerning Jon, Ann can't help but be attracted to the magnetic Mark LaCrosse. If the police won't accept that there was a third person present at the murder scene, then Ann will have to do some digging herself. As she discovers, all of the regulars at Annabella's find it difficult to believe that Jon killed Gina.

When another woman who visited the club is found murdered, Mark begins to suspect that the case is not as cut and dried as they assumed. Now, he must not only track down a vicious killer, but also find a way to keep Ann out of harm's way, for in her zeal, she may have set herself up as the killer's next target.

Heather Graham Pozzessere sizzles as she serves up a spicy thriller loaded with atmosphere, danger and romance. Great reading! (Apr., 384 pp, $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith