Forge, Jan 2003, 24.95, 368 pp.
Pregnant Thea Kozak stands at the altar waiting for the arrival of the groom, her beloved State Trooper Andre Lemieux, to exchange I do. However, instead of her beau, Thea learns that a domestic terrorist cell the Katahdin Constitutional Militia has kidnapped her future spouse. The group demands a trade for an incarcerated member, Jed Harding, who went berserk when the VA rejected his medical claim for his ailing son.
Though Andre's boss and peers prefer Thea stay out of the mess, she has dealt with murder and death before so she insists on participating in the rescue. Andre's supervisor Jack Leonard provides Thea with the cover of a battered runaway spouse Dora McCusick. Thea travels to Merchantville, Maine where she obtains employment as a waitress at Mother Theresa's restaurant. As Thea does what she is not supposed to do (investigate) she begins to learn why Jed prefers jail than the militia as paranoia runs rampant in this part of Maine.
Thea is a powerful lead protagonist who propels the story line forward with her unwelcome involvement yet ironically her soliloquies disrupt the action. Fans of the series will appreciate the lead character that just cannot sit idly by and take notes. Newcomers will need to adjust to this feisty in your face female especially when she provides asides. If given the chance, the tyro will soon gain new fans, as LIBERTY OR DEATH is a fabulous amateur sleuth-police procedural combo that highlights Kate Flora's abilities to entertain the troops.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner