At the turn of the century, Molly Murphy flees to England from Ireland literally one step ahead of the law. A chance encounter with Kathleen O'Connor—barred from the U.S. because of illness—opens the door to America. Using Kathleen's identity, Molly accompanies the young O'Connor children to America.

The voyage is not uneventful. Molly meets a man named O'Malley, a lecher who hints that he knows she's not the real Kathleen O'Connor. She also meets Michael Larkin, a gentle soul who makes the voyage bearable.

Upon arrival at Ellis Island, O'Malley is murdered. Although Molly makes it to shore, she comes under the watchful eye of police captain Daniel Sullivan, who feels she is hiding something. When Michael is arrested, Sullivan suggests that Molly was his accomplice. Protesting her innocence, Molly vows to find the real killer, even if it does mean working with the enigmatic—and extremely attractive!—Sullivan.

The creator of Welsh Constable Evan Evans gives us something completely different with the highly suspenseful MURPHY'S LAW, a former Top Pick. Bowen tells a phenomenal story, and her descriptions of an immigrant's lot—such as sailing in steerage and life in the slums—are colorful and fascinating. This is a very impressive first installment in what promises to be a fun and entertaining series! (Dec., 256 pp., $6.99) Hardcover published October 2001.

Reviewed by: 
Toby Bromberg