TAKING THE HEAT
Randall Tucker is spending life in prison for a crime he didn't commit. He dreams of getting out and reclaiming his son, but for now it's taking all he has to survive each day. He's hardened his outlook and knows that fighting is now a part of his new world.
Novice guard Gabrielle Hadley watches her co-workers stand around as Randall is attacked. She steps in to save him even after she discovers this will hurt her standing at the prison. Randall is transferred to another prison and when the opportunity arises, he escapes. He doesn't count on Gabrielle coming after him and then working to help him prove his innocence.
Novak masterfully takes readers into a gritty world in this well-researched work, though it might have served her story better had she slowed down the pacing a bit. (Feb., 384 pp., $6.50)