Berkley, Jun 2003, 6.99, 304 pp.
Former Newark undercover cop Chris Judge left the force under a cloud as some Mafia money went missing and though not proven Internal Affairs believe he probably took it. Chris stole the cash to help his wheelchair bound best friend. His friends and his ex-wife worry with good cause about his mental health as Chris suffers from severe depression over the money and his two years underground.
Chris is about to prove they are right to worry. He points a loaded gun to his head when he receives a drastic call from Ashley Marin. Twenty years ago, Chris saved a then teen Ashley's life from kidnappers Davey Potts and his now deceased father. Apparently, Potts just got released from prison and has abducted Ashley's teenage daughter. A frantic Ashley believes only Chris can save her child. Reluctantly, Chris agrees realizing he has a reason to live starting with saving the life of the teen and soon falling in love with the mother who has worshiped him for two decades.
Though the reason for the kidnapping is ludicrous, the story line is a taut investigative romantic suspense. Chris is a complex individual suffering from extreme guilt for not just stealing the money, but for turning in people that had become his friends while undercover. Ashley has revered Chris since he saved her life, but knows she also loves her hero. However, it is her anxiety over her daughter that makes the tension so palatable and believable that the audience will feel a bit of a letdown when the real reason for the abduction surfaces.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner