Vanessa Beacon has finally saved the money to take her son Dominick away from his father, her abusive boyfriend. Manuel Rodriguez is not only abusive, he's also a criminal who is extremely possessive of Vanessa and their diabetic son.

Assuming the names Emma and Max Wright, Vanessa and Dominick go on the road, where they meet Preston at a small motel. Emma and Max beg a ride with him to avoid the police. But Preston's agenda does not include a woman and child; it includes a gun and hunting down the man he blames for the loss of his ideal life two years ago. As Preston is drawn into Emma's freedom fight, however, he is also drawn to Emma and Max. But Manuel is determined to get them back and will stop at nothing to do so.

This story's strong, edge-of-your-seat suspense starts on the first page and doesn't let up until the end. Mothers in particular will understand the heroine's motivation and what she is willing to do to save her son. Novak's book is an extremely tense and emotional story with a satisfying conclusion. (Jul., 384 pp., $6.99)
Reviewed by: 
Susan Mobley