by Barbara Freethy

October 2005
ISBN: 0-451-21676-8
Reviewer Graphic Button Signet Books
Mass Market Paperback

The latest book by Barbara Freethy is a tale of romantic suspense entitled Donít Say a Word. It is the story of Julia DeMarco. Julia is a young woman who has had to face many changes in her life in a very short time span.

Juliaís mother, Sarah has died after a lengthy illness. Julia and Sarah were as close as a mother and daughter can be. Julia thought they shared everything and held nothing from one another. Is that the truth or is everything Julia grew up believing about to be ripped from her? If Sarah was withholding something from Julia what could it have been, and how does Julia finally come to feel that there are too many facets of her life yet unanswered.

Julia is about to be married. However since her motherís death she feels as though sheís drifting, and while she has all these incomplete thoughts and questions doesnít feel ready to settle down and be the sort of wife that Michael needs. Michael on the other hand is more than ready to begin their life together, and is pushing Julia into finally making wedding plans.

Reluctantly Julia agrees to check out a potential wedding site. She and Michael have an appointment with an event coordinator at The Palace of the Legion of Honor; a museum which Michaels thinks will be the perfect backdrop for their wedding. While waiting for the event coordinator to be ready for her Julia gets to wandering an exhibit of photography by Charles Manning, a famed photojournalist of his time.

One photo in particular haunts Julia, and sets the unease she has been feeling loose. She knows she canít settle down and be a wife until she feels that she has explored her own mysterious past. That photo reminds Julia of herself as a young girl, and sets her on a journey to find why her mother has no photos of the two of them together before Sarahís marriage to Juliaís stepfather.

What Julia discovers is beyond belief. Readers might have to suspend their reality, which I believe will be easy to do. Ms. Freethy has established a story line of international intrigue that goes back to the cold war era between the United States and Russia; making it possible for readers to believe some of the secrets and conspiracies that Julia uncovers.

Iíve not read many of Ms. Freethyís backlist; however Donít Say a word is by far my favorite, and has me eager to check out more of the backlist, and to keep a watch on the future releases.

Reviewed in November 2005 by Sandi.

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