From Publishers Weekly
For 300-some pages, Gardner (The Perfect Husband
) keeps readers spellbound—not just by her plot but by the beautifully realized character of Massachusetts police sniper Bobby Dodge. He meets his match in Catherine Gagnon, who as a girl was snatched, raped and nearly murdered. Now she's the wife of erratic, rich Jimmy Gagnon and mother of perpetually ill four-year-old Nathan. When Bobby kills Jimmy during a hostage situation at the Gagnons, he does it to save Catherine and Nathan. But was it a righteous shoot, or did Catherine engineer the killing? Judge James Gagnon and his wife, Maryanne, think Bobby murdered their son out of lust for Catherine. As other people start dying, very messily, and the DA and cops come down hard on Bobby, Gardner keeps the tension high and the pace fast. But resolution comes in what may be the clunkiest chase crafted by a pro this year: "Bobby processed everything at once. Three open doorways, three bedrooms. He ran by the first, then the second, and came sprinting into the third just in time to see Maryanne staggering back." Ten pages later, so many characters have run into so many rooms, it's amazing that the right person finally gets his head blown off by the right avenger. But Garner then ends with a neat postlude offering one more twist; her fans will feel requited.
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It was bad enough that Catherine Gagnon survived a horrible childhood abduction where for a month she lived in a cave and was the plaything for her sicko abductor. But now, 25 years later, she faces tragedy again as she fights to keep her son, Nathan. One chilly November night, a police sniper kills her husband, Jimmy, in response to her 911 call claiming he was about to hurt Nathan. Jimmy's death means that his parents, an influential judge and his blue-blooded wife, are more determined than ever to take Nathan from Catherine, whom they see as unfit to mother their only grandchild. True, the birth of Nathan mentally paralyzed Catherine, who could not get past the memories of her abduction and her emotionally absent parents. But is she really the monster the Gagnons and their PI make her out to be? Massachusetts state police special-ops officer Bobby Dodge, the sniper who took out Jimmy, doesn't think so, and unwittingly falls under the spell of the manipulative widow. A twisted, effective psychological thriller. Mary Frances WilkensCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved