From the moment the injured Jane Doe is brought into the hospital, Dr. Phyl Forster feels there is something extremely compelling about this mysterious young woman. "Jane Doe" was found at the base of a cliff having been beaten and left to die. San Francisco Police Detective Franco Mahoney knows that the only way they are ever going to catch her attacker is if "Jane" can ID him. Unfortunately, due to her injuries and trauma, the victim is unable to even identify herself.

Dr. Phyl becomes emotionally attached to this mysterious young woman. After her release from the hospital, Phyl takes "Jane" home with her to continue her therapy, and gives her the name Bea French. Finally deciding that a total change of scenery may help the healing process, Phyl sends Bea to be a companion to her wealthy, elderly and eccentric friend Millie Fenwick.

Millie and Bea hit it off immediately, and soon are off to France, where Millie is determined to buy a villa. When a vacant local property is recommended to them, Bea is stunned to discover she feels a sense of dja vu. The Villa Mimosa has a somewhat dark history, which includes the possible murder of its former mistress. Just what is Bea's past connection to it?

While Bea tries to unlock the secrets of her own mind, Phyl and Franco are still trying to discover why someone would want Bea dead. Yet someone does, and that person is not about to stop until the task is completed.

Gifted storyteller Elizabeth Adler proves once again why she is truly a master of sweeping, intense, and dramatic novels. (Dec., 416 pp., $6.50)

Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith