Dr. Sara Linton doesn't want to remarry her ex-husband, police chief Jeffrey Tolliver. After an argument in the police station, Sara is leaving when a hostage situation develops, with civilians, including schoolkids, and cops, held captive. As Sara tends the wounded, something sparks a memory of when she and Jeffrey were first dating.

Events in the present prove to be connected to something that happened in Jeffrey and Sara's past. When Jeffrey took Sara to his small Alabama hometown for the first time, their visit turned into a nightmare. A shooting occurred in the home of a friend, Robert, who was wounded and things turned from bad to worse when a skeleton was found and old animosities were revisited.

Slaughter does a good job moving back and forth between the two timelines in this fourth book in her series, which keeps getting better. She doesn't waste any time plunging readers headfirst into the whirlwind events of past and present.

Sara, with her loving family, and Jeffrey, always the loner, are compelling. The secondary characters are also well drawn, but this time the story is Sara's. Another winner from an outstanding Southern writer. (Aug., 358 pp., $24.95)

Reviewed by: 
Lorraine Gelly