A PICTURE OF GUILT

When a trip to an exclusive West Virginia resort results in a hairy rafting adventure for Ellie Foreman and daughter Rachel, Ellie and her boyfriend, David, make the acquaintance of Saudi businessman Abdul Al Hamarani. As currency trader David discusses business with the wealthy Saudi, Ellie and her daughter return to Chicago, where she produces corporate videos.

Ellie's keen eye for faces leads her to identify an inebriated man from a video she produced as the same man on trial for murdering his girlfriend. Knowing that the video provides an alibi for the accused, Ellie altruistically presents a copy to his defense attorney, then must face some grueling testimony on the witness stand.

Along with the suspense, the complexity of Ellie's life increases when the victim's best friend and the defense attorney are murdered shortly before an attempt is made on Ellie's life. Mixing the everyday trials of raising a 13-year-old daughter with suspicious SUVs, a limo ride with a mobster, a sexy FBI agent and a terroristic plot, Hellmann pens a novel that is nonstop action and entertainment from the get-go. (Jul., 336 pp., $6.50)

Reviewed by: 
Sheri Melnick