Bantam, Aug 2003, 7.50, 431 pp.
For twenty-five years Bay and Sean McCabe have been married and lived in Hubbard's Point, Connecticut. They have three preadolescent children. The couple has had their ups and downs especially caused by Sean's womanizing. However, ever since last year when their oldest child Annie overheard her father speaking romantically to another woman shaking up Sean, the relationship seems honest and solid.
The youngest child calls from the little league field to inform her mom that her dad failed to pick her up as previously arranged. Falling into routine, Bay rationalizes that Sean must be running late at the bank where he is a vice president and drives over to bring Peg home. When an employee of Sean calls asking for him and why he missed a key meeting, Bay begins to worry. Annie rides her bike to the family boat with Bay and a close friend Tara following. They find blood and call the police. Bay learns the FBI is involved because of embezzlement shenanigans at the bank. With her only lead being Dan Connolly, someone she had a puppy crush on before she married, Bay makes inquiries into what happened to her spouse.
Luanne Rice's latest thriller is THE PERFECT SUMMER novel for fans of relationship dramas. The action is loaded and the tension shrewdly elevated especially as Bay begins to realize that her spouse is not coming home and as she, Tara, and Annie begin to unravel the truth. Though the interrelationships are explained, they still seem stretched until the dichotomously plausible final note to Annie is found and explains all to readers who will find this an entertaining romantic suspense tale.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner