While THE TRIUMPH OF KATIE BYRNE does have an element of mystery and a small amount of romance, it is really about a young womans journey of self-discovery. While Katie is a compelling and likable character, the story elements do not really blend together all that smoothly.

On the eve of their graduation from high school, best friends Katie Byrne, Denise Matthews and Carly Smith are all practicing for their upcoming theatrical performances. These three friends have big plans for the future. After graduation, they will move to New York in order to work in the theater.

Tragically, those dreams are shattered when a vicious killer targets them. Katie's life is spared when she leaves rehearsal early, but Carly and Denise are not so lucky. Denise is raped then murdered and Carly is beaten into a coma.

The story opens decade later. No suspects have been located and Carly remains in a vegetative, comatose state. Katie does not want to continue to pursue her acting dream. However, the drive is so strong that she eventually continues her studies and begins performing. In London, Katie is offered the chance of a lifetime: the opportunity to open a new play on Broadway. Is she ready?

Survivor guilt has plagued Katie since that awful daycan she now focus on the future? What about poor Carly? And will Denises killer ever be caught?

(Dec., 336 pp., $7.99, Hardcover published June 2001)

Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith