Mira, Jun 2002, 6.50, 400 pp.
In 1985 Ridgeview, Indiana, following her sweet sixteen bash, Jenna Kirk relishes the memory of Mace Macaman's kiss even if he is the boy friend of Mandi, her older sister. That night, Mandi gets Jenna to help her reenter their home after she returns from her tryst with Mace. However, someone abducts both siblings holding the sisters for ransom inside the town's extensive caverns. Jenna manages to escape, but remembers little of her ordeal. Mandi vanishes. Jenna and Mace separately flee the town with its now nightmarish memories while her mother successfully runs for state office.
Fifteen years of nightmares and therapy propel Jenna to come home to confront what happened. From the start of her return, she receives packages and notes from apparently Mandi. Though most townsfolk believe he killed Mandi, Mace returns to town because of his father's illness. He joins forces with Jenna to learn the truth. However Jenna begins to recall what happened on that fateful evening; she wonders if she can trust Mace even if he has her heart.
THE STONE FOREST is an exhilarating romantic suspense that never eases off the throttle until the final page is completed. The story line is loaded with non stop action, but it is the lead couple that hooks the reader. As Jenna climbs out of the labyrinth of the pits of hell, she struggles between love and trust. Mace is a wonderful “victim” condemned by most of the townsfolk. Though the final twist seems too bizarre, the audience will read Karen Harper's taut tale in one sitting to learn what happened to Mandi.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner