Mira, May 2003, 6.50, 400 pp.
On Christmas Day 2001 in Des Moines, Riordan “Dan” Michael Gray and his wife of seven months Charlotte come home from visiting family. Dan takes out the garbage, but fails to return. Charlotte calls the police who begin a search that fails. Dan owns the successful Panini coffee shops. When payroll is due to the employers, Charlotte's father calls Dan's lawyers to learn he gave the business to her as a divorce settlement. Later the FBI informs her that her missing husband is terrorist Daniel O'Toole of the IRA.
A couple of years later in Tampa Bay, FBI agent John Hanseck visits Charlotte to inform her that Dan is in the country and probably in the Tampa area. The Feds want to use her as bait to catch him, but she wants her past buried so declines participating. However, refusal fails to keep her from being kidnapped. One of her abductors, whom she finds attractive and somewhat familiar looking, keeps her safe.
This is an exciting romantic suspense that hooks the reader once Dan vanishes. The story line is fast-paced as the audience waits to see what will happen when Dan and Charlotte meet up and learn why he left. There is the question of who will end up with the girl as a potential romance between the heroine and the Fed as well as the abductor protecting her adds to the intrigue. Though the climax seems too pat, fans will appreciate this terse thriller.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner