Onyx, Jul 2004, 6.99, 336 pp.
In Riverton, Kansas, David Blankenship holds seventeen preschoolers including his son Billy and two adults hostage at the Tiny Tots Day Care center demanding to speak to his former wife substitute elementary school teacher Juliette Monroe. Hostage negotiator Nick Corelli makes contact with David, but worries about the victims as the culprit is silent for the most part, but when he speaks, he shows no emotion until Juliette arrives. Desperate to save Billy and the others, Juliette promises David she will be with him without the child. David comes out and the cops arrest him. A couple days later, a court allows him bail, which he meets; his freedom causes an uproar in the small town.
David returns to Philadelphia where he remains patient as he plots his vengeance on his lying bitch of a wife starting by killing her son. Meanwhile Nick worries about Juliette and Billy and with the help of his police partner and his brother, guard them around the clock. As he falls in love with the two Monroes and they return his feelings, he knows David is coming, just when remains the question.
This exciting romantic suspense stars a delightful lead couple, both suffering from mental wounds and a vile intelligent villain who believes he is smarter than the law (wait until you read the final justice). The secondary cast augments the lead couple with insight to how much they care for others. Especially interesting are the mentally crippled former girlfriend of Nick's brother while Billy contrasts the human males in his life so readers obtain a terrific tale with depth from multiple perspectives.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner