by Susan Wiggs

February 2002
ISBN: 0-446-61078-X
Reviewer Graphic Button Warner Books
Mass Market Paperback

Passing Through Paradise brings us a world of love, suspense and mystery. The story begins with the missing and assumed death of the golden boy, state senator of Paradise, Victor Winslow. After a heated argument with his wife, Sandra Winslow, while driving home from a party, their car runs off the bridge. Sandra has the misfortune to survive and is found unconscious ashore. During the investigation of Victorís death, a bullet is found embedded in the carís dashboard and there is blood on Sandraís clothing. She is also the sole beneficiary of a large life insurance policy of Victor. All of this makes everyone in town think Sandra murdered her husband for money even though there is not enough evidence to put the blame on her. Although Sandra isnít found guilty of murder, she loses everything including her husband and home. She decides to refurnish her Victorian home with Victorís insurance money, sell the house and leave town.

Mike Malloy is a contractor and he specializes in restoring historian houses. After his divorce with his wife, he returns to his hometown, Paradise to rebuild his business. He applies for the job on restoring Sandraís house and falls in love with the house on first sight. He is also a childhood friend of Sandraís late husband and tries to keep their relationship on business terms only. But things donít turn out as he planed and both Mike and Sandra canít resist their attraction to each other. Mike is falling in love with Sandra and it is hard for him not to look into Sandraís past and Victorís death.

Ms. Wiggs has written a story with realistic characters and powerful emotions. The love between Sandra and Mike is natural and convincing. Mike is good at fixing things and he fixes not only Sandraís home, but also her life and broken heart. Sandra also fills places inside Mikeís heart that has been empty for too long. The suspense and mystery of the death of Victor keep you guessing from beginning to the end. The story unfolds the layers of the mystery from chapter to chapter and you wonít be able to find the answer until the end of the book. If you are looking for a great story with great characters, donít miss Passing Through Paradise! It will unquestionably be a keeper on your shelf.

Reviewed in April 2002 by Rose.

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