Three years have passed since Dara Prince disappeared from Winston, West Virginia, leaving a note saying she had run away. Now a body has been found in a creek that Christine Ireland suspects could well be her adopted sister Dara. When Dara's diary turns up unexpectedly, Christine is plunged into her lost sister's mysterious past. Dara was certain somebody was stalking her, just as someone is watching Christine's every move.
This report prepared by Greg Bryant
St. Martin's, Jan 2004, 6.99, 432 pp.
In Winston, West Virginia, Christine Ireland manages the Prince Jewelry store owned by lawyer Ames Prince who took her and her mentally impaired brother Jeremy into his home when their parents died seven years ago. Deputy Sheriff Michael Winter informs Christine and Ames that they found the decomposed body of a teenage female wrapped inside a plastic. The flooding of the nearby Ohio River washed it ashore. Michael believes this is the body of Ames' daughter Dara, who vanished three years ago. Ames says this is impossible because Dara is in Arizona sending him letters.
Jeremy finds Dara's diary hidden in a tree near the bridge where she supposedly died. In her journal Dara mentions that someone wants her dead. She says her prime man is Rey, but that she has two other lovers that she dubs S.C. and The Brian and is pregnant. All three of her lovers are angry at her, but one is stalking her. As Michael and Christine fall in love, Ames remains in denial though the evidence mounts that his daughter is dead. Someone tries to kill Christine while others related in some way to Dara are murdered.
As expected from Carlene Thompson (see ALL FALL DOWN and SINCE YOU'VE BEEN GONE) IF SHE SHOULD DIE readers receive an exciting action-packed thriller. The story line is fast paced, but contains a strong cast especially the lead couple and several secondary players. Several short flashbacks enable the reader to understand Dara. Though the killer comes out of nowhere forcing a lengthy explanation of motives, suspense thriller fans will enjoy Ms. Thompson's fine novel.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner