Mira, May 2004, 6.50, 384 pp.
In Memphis, Detective Gomez questions club owner Jackson Cole as the last known person to see Roberta Klein alive. Jackson saw Roberta last night, but someone, and he is the prime suspect, strangled her. Jackson turns to his former fiancée, Hallie Hunter for legal help though she is not a criminal attorney.
Besides being a divorce lawyer, Hallie wants to tell Jackson she cannot represent him because he destroyed her trust in him with his betrayal of her though he remains the only man she ever loved. Adding to her reluctance is that Roberta was at the heart of their break up. Still she agrees to represent him starting with “uncocking” cocky detective Gomez, who blithely tramples on constitutional rights. As the evidence mounts that Jackson killed Roberta in a lover's spat, he and Hallie realize they still love one another, but either he did the deed or an insider set him up to take the fall.
Once the audience accepts that Hallie as an adept criminal lawyer though that is not her discipline and that Jackson insists on her rather than her recommended specialist in a homicide situation, fans will appreciate a wonderful romantic legal thriller. Jackson and Hallie are delightful protagonists while Detective Gomez makes an ideal antagonist who serves in some ways as the matchmaker who brings the duo back together. Though the résumé of the villain becomes obvious late, but should have been known, Mary Lynn Baxter provides a strong romantic suspense.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner