Mira, Feb 2003, 6.50, 384 pp.
Tampa Homicide Detective Karen Sweeney is at the crime scene of a Jane Doe when the call comes in for her to change venues as a second murder at the estate of US Senator Grant Lawrence has been reported. Karen arrives at the second homicide scene where she finds the slashed throat of beloved elderly nanny Abigail Reese. Karen interviews Grant's special counsel Jerry Connally, who insists he was seeking papers for his boss when he found the corpse.
Karen believes Jerry is hiding something. Jerry informed Grant that he removed a second victim, stripper Stacy, a former girlfriend of the Senator, from the estate to the alley where she is catalogued as Jane Doe. Grant returns to Tampa to help with the investigation into the murder of his beloved nanny, but feels guilty covering up Jerry's rash action. As Karen falls in love with Grant, he reciprocates her feelings. However, she believes he knows more about the case than he has told, but she has yet to find the smoking dress even as a killer wants to do more than just abort his presidential run.
WITH MALICE is an exhilarating police procedural romance with political implications that readers of the three genres will enjoy, but requires acceptance from fans that an “amateur” could successfully remove a corpse from a crime scene. Karen is a good cop while Grant is an intriguing politician who compromises on some items, but refuses to budge on loyalty to those he loves even if it costs him the White House. The mystery, political thriller, and romance audiences will take immense pleasure Rachel Lee's suspenseful novel.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner