Adolescent anger, rebellion and regrets are the cornerstones of the talented Ms. Kelly's emotional novel.

Sixteen years ago, with pressure from her family, the teenage Liz Havers gave up her baby son to his natural father, Police Detective Hawthorne "Hawk" Hart. At that time, he was a seriously depressed widower, who unwisely got involved with Liz.

Today, Liz is a child psychologist in Woodside, where Detective Hart and his son Jesse also live. And despite Hart's refusal, Liz wants a role in her son's life. The pair are bitter adversaries when it comes to Liz's role in Jesse's life.

When young Jesse Hart and Brad Barlow stumble upon Barney Turgate's murdered body in the woods, they approach Brad's psychologist, Liz, for advice. Jesse and Brad have already been accused by old Anita Brindamoor of stealing twenty-one of her Yew trees.

Why would anyone bother to dig up the trees? Liz gets an inkling when she realizes that the anti-cancer drug Taxol is made from Yew trees. Going to Hawk with her theory is not easy and their attraction is still ready to ignite. But when Hawk discovers that the murdered Barney Turgate was knee deep in a big money scheme involving harvesting the Yew trees, he realizes that this is much more serious than he thought -- and Barney's partner may provide the missing link.

However, the partner is murdered and Hawk wounded and it looks like even if they solve the mystery, the past may be filled with too many mistakes for a new family to form in the embers of past.

(Apr., 384 pp., $5.50)

Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith