by Brenda Joyce

July 2002
ISBN: 0-312-28449-7
Reviewer Graphic Button St. Martin`s Press

With the success of her "Deadly" Series, Brenda Joyce brings you another exciting and intriguing romantic thriller, The Chase.

Claire Hayden's marriage is falling apart and she wants to divorce her husband, David. Before she can discuss it with David, he is found murdered in their iron lawn chair with his throat slashed open on the night after his birthday party. Two days ago, a similar murder of a tourist, George Suttill, is committed in the same area. Claire never knows the two murders are related until she finds two things on David's desk - an old photograph of George Suttill and Lionel Elgin dated back to World War II and a fax from an investigative agency in London.

A mysterious guest at David's birthday party, Ian Marshall (who claimed to be David's friend), shows up again at David's funeral. On impulse, Claire follows and confronts him after the service as she thinks Ian is connected with David's death. Ian is actually a Nazi hunter, specialist in war crimes investigation, from New York. He claims to be on an official homicide investigation of an old case in 1940. He comes to meet David because David has phoned him and has information on Lionel Elgin, who was a traitor and a spy for Germany during WWII.

Ian suspects Lionel Elgin is the murderer of David and George and is masquerading as William Duke (neighbour and friend of Claire), Robert Ducasse (Claire's uncle) or even Jean-Leon Ducasse (Claire's father). Claire is stunned by all this information and she insists on being Ian's partner in the investigation. They travel to Wales to meet and interview Lady Elgin, stepmother of Lionel Elgin, to see if she can provide any information of Lionel. A gunman pursues Claire and Ian during their drive back to the hotel. Claire is hurt and put in hospital.

In The Chase, Ms Joyce has chosen WWII as the background for the story and unfolds the mystery layer by layer with individual plots. The story swings back and forth between WWII and the present day. At the same time, each individual plot fades out gracefully whenever another plot takes over. The most intriguing plot of the story is in 1940 and readers will discover that their attention immediately falls on Lionel Elgin, Rachel Greene and Eddy Marshall and forget about Claire and Ian temporarily. Even though Lionel Elgin is the bad guy of the decade, he leads the whole story from beginning to end. The romance part of the book concentrates on the undying love of Lionel's Jewish cousin, Rachel, and the dashing American RAF pilot, Eddy Marshall and makes the other couple, Claire and Ian, fade from the story.

The Chase is a well-plotted, fast-paced tale with an unpredictable ending. A lot of questions and mysteries will not be answered until you read the last page. This is one book that you will treasure and won't want to miss. Happy reading!

Reviewed in June 2002 by Rose.

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