THE SECRET HOUR
by Luanne Rice

February 2004
ISBN: 0-553-58401-4
Reviewer Graphic Button Bantam Books
Mass Market Paperback
Rating:



Attorney John O’Rourke is finding his life really complicated these days. Since the recent death of his wife, John has been doing his best to be both mother and father to his two pre-teen children. As a defense attorney he also finds his work life far more complicated than normal when he takes on the case of representing Greg Merrill, an admitted serial killer. The townspeople are less than pleased that John is representing this monster but who is so upset that they take action buy sending a brick through the attorney’s front window? Has John unwittingly put his family in danger by taking on this controversial case?


Kate Harris arrives on John’s front step as well, almost at the same time as the brick. Six months earlier Kate’s sister vanished and she suspects that Greg Merrill may know something about her disappearance. Kate has come to ask for John’s help and she never dreams her search could bring so much more into her life.


Luanne Rice is known for creating compelling characters that tug at the reader’s heartstrings. She has done that here. What she is not known for is having a suspense element in her books. She also pulls this off quite nicely in The Secret Hour.


Ms. Rice’s descriptive narrative makes the reader feel as if they are in the Connecticut setting. One can almost feel the ocean crashing upon the shore. Ms. Rice’s usual themes of family and strong relationships can be found in this book. What is new is a chilling villain and the last few chapters will have the reader frantically turning pages to get to the heart-stopping ending. Ms. Rice has penned another winner. I would love to see her write more books of this type.


Reviewed in June 2004 by Barbara.

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