by Lynn Erickson

July 2004
ISBN: 0-425-19708-5
Reviewer Graphic Button Berkley
Mass Market Paperback

Nick Sinestra works for the NYPD as a Vice Cop. On his time off, he usually works overtime at society events as a bodyguard or security. He also makes money selling tips to a tabloid. It’s good money and Nick has a tendency to believe that the celebrities whose secrets he sells invite the publicity. From time to time, his conscience gives him a twinge, but the money’s too good to past up.

Portia Carr Wells has always managed to fade into the background before her husband’s death. Now she’s a beautiful young widow taking up her husband’s banner for the preservation of nature. She’ll have to take a step into the limelight and endure the media circus once more. The very person she thought would protect her is the very one who is betraying her for the right price. Nick even follows her to Colorado to see what else he can dig up on her.

Nick soon learns that betrayal is a bitter pill to swallow when it can lead to Portia’s death. The young widow doesn’t believe her husband’s death was an accident. The more the tabloids print about her, the more convinced someone becomes that Portia needs to be silenced. The moonlighting police detective has to make a decision. Can he stand by and let Portia be harmed all the while knowing that it was his information that did the damage? Or can he find a piece of goodness in himself and help keep her safe?

Nick is embittered and cynical. It seems like from the very beginning, his life is falling apart on him. Even though we find out why he sells information to the tabloids, there is never a strong feeling of remorse or even a good reason for why he’s doing it. There is redemption in the end but not enough to make Nick a very likable character. Portia seems to be a wishy-washy character. She can’t stand up for herself against anyone and she doesn’t get any stronger throughout the story. The ending is rather anti-climatic and not very suspenseful.

After Hours has an interesting premise. Selling secrets to tabloid reporters sounds like a lucrative career but the premise can’t save the story.

Reviewed in August 2004 by Jenni.

Read more reviews of Lynn Erickson books.Click Here