When the Storm Breaks Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of When the Storm Breaks

Harper Torch, Aug 2003, 7.50, 464 pp.
ISBN: 0060542128

Afton Gallagher, assisted by her mom Peggy, persuades her friend Claire Lambert to try the computer dating service that they own. It is after midnight by the time they are through providing “Marie Claire” with a bio. Claire heads home to Georgetown taking a short cut to catch her bus. However, she sees a man with a knife killing a woman and the murderer notices her too. Claire flees in terror, but falls down a set of stairs before banging her head. Though the killer lost the gazelle he has found her purse that she dropped when she ran the hundred-yard dash in record time.
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DC Police Detectives Sean Richter and Aidan Burke believe one of their cold cases has just got hot with the apparent return of a dormant serial killer. He learns of Claire witnessing the homicide, but her memory remains faulty from the concussion she suffered. Sean works with Claire to help her recall that horrifying night, but also to keep her safe from a killer who knows who she is and where she lives.

Though amnesia has served as a device in many a thriller, fans will believe that Heather Lowell introduced the technique with this tale because it feels as fresh as the air following WHEN THE STORM BREAKS. The key to the invigorating plot is the key cast members especially the heroine. Sean is a caring hunk who risks his life not for duty, but more to keep the woman he loves safe. Profanity fits within the plot. Fans will appreciate this second-generation novelist's captivating and suspenseful serial killer romance.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of When the Storm Breaks

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 10%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 40%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 30%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 20% Tone of story    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) How difficult to spot villain?    -   Very difficult--no foreshadowing/clues Time/era of story:    -   2000+ (Present) What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   60% Kind of investigator    -   police procedural, American Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   amnesia Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   small businessman Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Race    -   Swiss


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Southeast

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Amount of dialog    -   significantly more dialog than descript

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Heather Lowell Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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