Onyx, Mar 2004, 6.99, 304 pp.
The frontrunner for Governor of Louisiana, Creole Marc LeClare donates an empty warehouse in New Orleans to Isabel “Sable” Duchesne to open a community center. At the warehouse, Sable finds Marc dead and someone trying to kill her, but she escapes. Police Lieutenant Jean-Delano “J.D.” Gamble leads the investigation. When J.D. sees the eye witness, he behaves like a man possessed. Ten years ago, J.D. and Sable fell in love at Tulane, but he thinks she deserted him while she feels her he used his Creole friends to dump the Cajun in the swamp.
Though he plans to keep her safe, J.D. thinks Sable knows something about Marc's death. He cannot believe they were having a tryst, but wonders what their connection was. He also needs to know why she left him a decade ago.
Sable wants to mourn the loss of Marc in private, but she is the latest media candy frenzy. She wants to stay away from J.D. who is marrying an equal and not a half Cajun like her. However, he refuses to let her vanish again especially with a killer wanting her dead.
Sable hiding the identity of the killer from the police seems dumb as she is the target, but romantic suspense fans will enjoy this terse thriller built off of a previous generation's Romeo and Juliet love. The taut story line keeps tensions high with the police investigation and the sexual stress caused by love between the lead couple. Jessica Hall owes the audience sequels starring his brother and partner in one and his former fiancé in another for these three strong supporting characters deserve stardom.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner