Desperation and hatred drive Arkansas schoolteacher Kate Edwards to contemplate murder. Beaten and raped by wealthy businessman Jason Trask, then publicly ravaged in her losing court battle, Kate is angry and devastated. She vows vengeance when he attacks her 19-year-old sister Kerry. An old friend sends Kate out to meet ex-con Tucker Caldwell, who spent 16 years in prison for the "murder" of Trask's cousin, Jeffrey Henderson.

The only reason Tucker can figure out why old Ben James would send Kate to him is to prevent her from destroying her life. Tucker can understand her need for vengeance, but he will never risk his freedom again.

Slowly, almost delicately, a relationship begins to build between them. The rape trial divided the town into those who believed Kate and those who believed Jason. Attorney Colleen Robbins knows her family owes Tucker restitution. Her father took a payoff from the Trask family to railroad a manslaughter charge into murder. Colleen returns to Fall River determined to make amends. When Jason is suddenly murdered, both Kate and Tucker are prime suspects. Did the need for vengeance finally push one of them over the edge?

Superb storyteller Marilyn Pappano will electrify fans with this gut wrenching and emotionally complex thriller that showcases her unique talents. (Mar., 382 pp., $6.50)

Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith