Berkley, May 2004, 6.99, 384 pp.
The voice message from her sister Traci sounded like she was frightened, something her younger sibling never is. Return calls only get Traci's answering machine. Desperate to learn what happened to Traci, Lindsey Metcalf flies from Columbus to Seattle, but Traci has vanished. The cops feel that Traci skipped town to avoid jail time on a drug charge. Since there is evidence that Traci was seeing former cop Michael Striker, Lindsey visits him. However, he blows her away telling her to go home. Michael has his own problems as he faces ten years in prison for assaulting the suspect who murdered his partner.
A friend on the force informs Michael that someone broke into Traci's home and attacked Lindsey. Unable to stay on the sidelines, he comes over to see if the Midwesterner is okay and offers to search for Traci though he believes the latter is dead. Lindsey soon learns the truth about her sister's dangerous life in the sexual underground while falling in love with her champion who reciprocates, but knows his prison time insures nothing can happen between them.
This is an exciting private investigative romance with a major touch of amateur sleuth to get the tale off the ground. The story line is action packed and never lets up from the moment Lindsey arrives in Seattle. Though the epilogue following the climax is too simplistic, readers will take immense delight with the lead couple as they tour the shadiest part of the city. Fans will demand a Buckeye romance starring Lindsey's bossy spicy business partner Carissa soonest.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner