Five Star, Dec 2003, 25.95, 257 pp.
In Carmel, California Annabel Nettleon is considering divorcing her husband Dylan, whose behavior has been abrupt and nasty since they married. Discreet investigator Jeff Link visits Annabel asking for Dylan, who is away on business. He informs her that Dylan is the missing grandson and solo heir of a dying person worth $40 million. She tells Dylan about the visit, but instead of feeling elation he becomes abusive and angry, hitting her before vanishing.
Annabel returns home with their infant son only to find Dylan dead in their bed with a kitchen knife in his chest. The police believe she killed her spouse in a fit of passion. As Annabel seeks the truth to clear her name starting with the enigmatic Dylan, she is unaware that each step closer to learning the true identity of Dylan places her and her son in danger.
This amateur sleuth tale provides readers with interesting twists mindful of the Goldie Hawn movie Deceived. The story line is fun to follow though it takes time to set the table. Annabel is a strong lead character who goes from frightened mouse to roaring lioness when placed under pressure. Her transformation seems genuine as she struggles to keep herself and her child safe while seeking to understand who Dylan was. She makes the tale.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner