by Charlotte Boyett-Compo

ISBN: 0-7599-3635-8
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Gabe is married to Annie but never stays long in any job despite being popular in them. A chance finding of an old trunk filled with memorabilia from a police force leads Annie to start looking into her husband's past - and what she finds really scares her. But someone else gets wind of her investigation and finds out where Gabe is now living. From there on, the plot is fast paced and gripping.

Having read Windchance by this author, I was not looking forward to this book. But from the beginning it got me interested. There was something appealing and rather forlorn about Gabe, which made me read on. While the book isn't a straightforward romance it does have a love interest in it. Annie and Gabe were a loving couple until this crisis in their lives.

This is a well-written suspenseful story. Charlotte Boyett-Compo brings the reader into the seedy world of organised crime; nevertheless, as the story progresses, Ms. Boyett-Compo always remembers to keep the focus firmly on Gabe. The author shifts between the two areas of the little town where Gabe had settled with Annie and the dubious world of crime that he came from. She does this with a tight plot that is seamless. There are some really good characters, like the town's elderly citizen Edna Mae. Rich and outspoken, she has a real soft spot for Gabe and her character adds a humorous touch to the otherwise somber story.

The story is by no means a light hearted one. At times it is frightening what one human being can do to another and parts of this story are really harsh. There is a deep hatred directed at Gabe and it made me angry and also made me very much want to see the bad guys get what they deserved before the end of the book. Ms Boyett-Compo handles it well and keeps the story together well by the strength of her characterisation.

The love that Gabe and Annie have is strong and it is this strength that keeps you wanting things to come right for them in the end. However, if you are looking for a romance this story does not fit into this mold unless you like a lot of suspense with your love interest.

I enjoyed this story but at times it was quite dark in its intensity, and is certainly not for a light read.

Reviewed in February 2002 by Mary.

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