Putnam, Feb 2000,23.95, 326 pp.
Nine months ago, attorney Tom McInnis left his six-digit job at a prestigious law firm to return home to the Mobile Bay area to investigate the murder of his brother. Two months after his sibling's death, someone kills the artist-husband of Susan Fitzsimmons. Tom sees a connection between the two murders. He directs his inquiries that way, stirring up a hornet's nest (see SINS OF THE BROTHER) that leaves Susan hospitalized. Mike still feels guilty for causing harm to Susan.
Susan calls to inform Tom that a teenage girl is in deep trouble after witnessing a hit. Although he realizes the danger, Tom feels euphoric that Susan even talked to him. Tom visits Susan and Carli Monroe to hear the latter's story. He believes Carli. They get the local sheriff to accompany them to the house where the hit occurred. However, no evidence remains as even the walls have been repainted. Tom and an associate stay at the home, which leads to three thugs trying to kill them. They escape and place the two females in a safe house until Tom can keep the duo from becoming the next two victims.
The action starts on the first page and keeps on going until the book is finished. However, Deep South atmosphere and strong characters keep the tale from being just a runaway action adventure. A sweet subplot involving Tom and Susan's growing attraction lessons some of the tension that seems ready to overwhelm the plot. Mike Stewart balances the powerful action with strong personalities and an engaging look at the Mobile area turning DOG ISLAND into an enjoyable tale.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner