Silver Dagger, August 2003, 23.95
Indian Hills is such a small central Florida town that Detective Claudia Hershey is shocked when a resident at the gated community of Willow Whisper claims his house was robbed. When she arrives to take the victim's statement, she is knocked on the head and the perpetrator takes Claudia's gun. She notices that the man who hurt her has taken four hostages.
When Claudia asks him why he did such a thing, he replies he wants his house painted the color he requested and the crack in the patio fixed. The four hostages are behind the movement to keep Mr. Hemmer from getting what he wants. Claudia sees an opening to take Mr. Hemmer down without injury and goes for it but one of the hostages gets free and kills him claiming self-defense. After the dust settles, Claudia is pressured to drop the case but she thinks there is more to the hostage taking and the killing than two of the hostages let and she wants to see if she can find the evidence to substantiate her theory.
DEADLY ASSOCIATIONS is the perfect book for those readers who love a solid police procedural without any gore. The protagonist defies the mayor and her boss to continue working on the case because she believes there is something very wrong at Willow Whisper. She is so convinced she is right she turns the tables on the mayor when he tries to fire her. A possible romantic interest and an identical twin sister who comes for a visit despite not being wanted gives the audience a glimpse into the heroine's personal life.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner