Mira, Sep 2003, 6.50, 384 pp.
Over two decades ago, Police Officer Liz Rivas watches her husband Rick, a detective on the force, shot while both were off duty. Liz testifies against her spouse's murderer at the trial, but the Mafia hitman's lawyer manages to keep his client free. The Feds place Liz and her young son in the witness protection program.
For the next two plus decades, Liz has lived in Pfister, Missouri, as Jenna MacArthur, managing and operating the MacArthur's Park combo flee market and coffee shop. Her son now works as a cop. A stranger who looks vaguely familiar buys a Grisham novel from Liz. Paul Haggerty, a former cop, made a vow to Rick that he intends to keep. He found Liz via the Internet due to a site managed by her mother. As he and Jenna fall in love, he realizes he may have inadvertently brought danger to the woman he now cherishes.
This a strong romantic suspense thriller though why Rick's killer acts after two decades of walking the streets even if he risks eventual conviction is hard to grasp. Still the lead couple is a delight and the support cast adds the depth of small town Missouri into the mix. Fans of terse tales will be IN HOT PURSUIT of Suzann Ledbetter's fine novel.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner