A SECRET RAGE
This early suspense novel (1984)
by beloved author Harris may surprise readers looking for the comic or
paranormal elements in her other series. The depiction of rape and its aftereffects rings with unmistakable authenticity, and the bones of great plotting and compelling character
work, which she has honed to perfection
in her recent novels, shine through in
this engaging mystery. If Harris ever wanted to return to her roots, Nickie and friends could be the basis of a great Southern-set cozy series.
Washed up at 29, model Nickie Callahan decides to retreat from cold, crime-ridden New York to her hometown of Knolls, Tenn. Moving into a grand old home with best friend Mimi, getting reacquainted with Mimi's sexy but aloof brother Cully and re-enrolling in college puts Nickie in high spirits and reaffirms her decision.
But then several women connected to the college -- including Nickie herself -- are attacked by a serial rapist. Watching Nickie and her fellow survivors not only continue to function (and even find love) but also identify their attacker is empowering and uplifting. (BERKLEY PRIME CRIME, Aug., 224 pp., $7.99)