With a legacy left to her, Abby Vale lives her life as she pleases. She has decided to start her own business as a bookseller and collector of rare books. Among her friends is Hugh Templar, a retired officer of British Intelligence.

Hugh is an intellectual, a lover of Roman and Greek antiquities. Comfortable with their relationship, it amuses him to find that Abby is interested in him for his mind. She never plays the coquette and is not interested in marriage. Betrayed by an unfaithful wife, he is not one to give his trust readily.

When Abby and her brother take off on a book-buying trip to Paris, it sets off a chain of events that will draw Abby, her brother and Hugh into a dangerous game of espionage and intrigue. An unwanted night visitor informs Abby that her brother will die if she does not return a certain book (which she knows nothing about). As Abby and Hugh join together to save her brother, their friendship changes and they become lovers.

Circumstances force both of them to face the pain of betrayal as they become caught up in a plot to kill the prime minister.

WHISPER HIS NAME is a page-turning read. Ms. Thornton is the grand dame of historical mystery and intrigue. SENSUAL (On Sale Mar., 380 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Joan Hammond