Harper's latest has a shiver-inducing, dramatic premise. A couple of scenes veer slightly into melodrama, but readers will likely be inclined to overlook it because the plot and characters are
so compelling.

When P.I. Tara Kinsale emerges from a coma, she learns her life has changed completely. Her best friend, Alex, has been murdered, and she's been appointed guardian of Alex's daughter, Claire.

But Claire's uncle, Nick MacMahon, is about to take custody of the girl. Agreeing to stick around while Nick and Claire get used to each other, Tara begins to piece together the months she's missing. A routine visit to a doctor yields the disturbing possibility that Tara gave birth while she was comatose.

Her husband divorced her in the interim, and he's now remarried with a child. Further inquiry only raises more questions -- which someone will do anything to keep Tara from answering.

(MIRA, Nov., 400 pp., $6.99)

Reviewed by: 
Catherine Witmer