Berkley, Aug 2002, 6.99, 416 pp.
For the past five years, widow Suzanna Quinn has diligently worked as the principal of Fairholm High School in New York. Her philosophy is openness and honesty with the faculty, students, and parents. Until recently that has proven quite successful, but popular student Zach Riley changes the climate when he shockingly commits suicide leaving a note behind that warns Suzanna of a threat to her.
Secret Service Agent Joe Stonehouse pushed the formation of the School Threat Assessment Team after a gunman killed his beloved niece and four other teenagers. Now he believes Fairholm High School could be in jeopardy based on Zach's suicide note and an alleged hit list. He goes underground as a crisis counselor at the school. However, he finds himself very attracted to Suzanna and knows he violates everything she believes in with his covert activity.
With all the incidents in schools over the past decade and the post 9/11 homeland security question, PROMISES TO KEEP is a timely romantic suspense. The story line is well written as Suzanna epitomizes the struggle when community safety tramples on individual rights and the need to know. The romance between the lead protagonists augments the dispute between Joe and Suzanna on what needs to remain cloaked in secrecy. Kathryn Shay provides no easy answers to the safety and security vs. freedom debate, but the audience will feel they have reader a thrilling complete tale.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner