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The Secret Hour (Rice, Luanne) by [Rice, Luanne]
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The Secret Hour (Rice, Luanne) Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Length: 432 pages Word Wise: Enabled

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

When Kate Harris shows up at his door right after someone throws a brick through his window, defense lawyer and single father John O'Rourke can't decide whether she brings help or more trouble. In fact, she brings both in Rice's latest family drama (after True Blue; Summer Light; etc.) set on the Connecticut shore. John's client Greg Merrill, "The Breakwater Killer," on death row for a series of brutal seaside murders, is responsible for both Kate's arrival and the brick: John's neighbors resent his efforts to save the confessed criminal's life, while Kate wants the lawyer's help in determining whether Merrill killed her sister, who disappeared much like the killer's other victims, but whose body has never been found. In her quest, Kate falls not just for John but also for his children, Maggie and Teddy, as they grieve for their mother, recently killed in a car accident. John grieves, too, so bothered by memories of his wife's adultery he does not see what his children see-that Kate is just what the O'Rourke family needs. Familiar Rice themes of sisterhood, loss and the healing power of love are spotlighted, but Rice's interest in the human psyche has its dark side as well, demonstrated by her creation of a rogue psychologist who subverts the ethics of his profession. Since Rice's fiction often serves as beach reading, it is appropriate that the shore scenes, including a cinematic climax in an old lighthouse, should be among the novel's strongest. Rice's heartfelt personal tone and the novel's cunningly deranged villain make this a smooth-flowing and fast-paced effort, with justice served all around at the satisfying if predictable conclusion.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Widower John O'Rourke, the father of two, could have a chance at happiness with KateDif only he weren't defending a vicious serial killer.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 530 KB
  • Print Length: 432 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0553584014
  • Publisher: Bantam (Feb. 4 2003)
  • Sold by: Random House Canada, Incorp.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000FBFMT8
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #200,324 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I don't think author Luanne Rice really pulls off the suspense/crime element here, but still, she is such a good writer that I'll probably read anything she does.
Although this novel sort of takes place in the Hubbard's Point/Black Hall vicinity that Luanne Rice usually sets her novels in.......none of the same characters repeat the way they usually do from her other novels.
A Lawyer who defends serial killers on death row may have information about "Kate's" sister who is missing, as one of the killer's may, or may not have killed a special sister.
Luanne Rice's wonderfully descriptive and evocative writing about seaside towns, the nature of sisterhood, the pain of death, and children's point of view.....are featured throughout the first 3/4's of "Secret Hour".
But, the last 3 chapters are where the suspense really picks up. There is no real action or suspense until then, so I am only going to give this 3 stars for not really being as action-packed as I was lead to believe.
I still think she is a great writer, though, and I am a dedicated Luanne Rice reader, no matter what.
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Format: Hardcover
A new book by Luanne Rice is always an occasion for me to rush right out, buy the book and then wait a few weeks before I read it. Why do I wait to read it? Perhaps its because I'm waiting for just the right mood or knowing that once I finish this book I'll have to wait a bit till Ms. Rice writes another one. And while my wait wasn't that long this time since I recently read the Firefly trilogy which included Firefly Beach, Safe Harbor and True Blue almost back to back, The Secret Hour is Luanne Rice at her very best. As she has accomplished in so many of her novels I loved, Ms. Rice introduces us to characters who have suffered tragedies in their family structures and find healing within themselves and through others.
John O'Rourke, a defense attorney and his children 14 year old Ted and 11 year old Maggie, are still reeling from the accidental death of their wife and mother Theresa. Now two years later, John is desperately trying to save his client from the death penalty. Isolated form his neighbors and community for representing this convicted killer, John and his family suffer greatly particularly the children who have barely begun to deal with their mother's passing. Then one day a new woman, Kate Harris, arrives in town. The family mistakes her for a new housekeeper/babysitter whom they have been advertising for in the local papers. But Kate has her own reason for being in Connecticut and wanting to get to know the O'Rourke family. Thus begins a reader's journey and adventure where once again Rice's plots are filled with the themes of love between siblings, love between a man and a woman and happiness after tragedies.
Although not always a fan of the genre of romantic suspense, I loved this book.
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Format: Hardcover
Different from her other works. I almost couldn't believe it was her writing this suspense. It reminded me somewhat of Greg Iles "The Quiet Game", also a story of a widower father who is an attorney and getting involved in a case in his home town that affects him personally.
In this story, the attorney, John O'Rourke, is a widower with 2 kids, a teen son and a daughter. He is trying his best to raise them in his home town where everyone knows them, but is making enemies by taking on a horrible case. He is representing an admitted serial killer of young women and the town hates him for it. Along comes a lovely woman who believes this serial killer may be the cause for her sisters disappearance 6 months prior in this area. John is torn between wanting to help the woman, whom he is attracted to, and doing his best for his client. The story takes many twists and turns and is written very well. You feel connected to these characters and think about them even when you are not reading... that's the sign of a well written novel.
Luanne writes in the same New England setting that she has used in her other books. Her characters, even the pets, have captivating personalities, and the discriptive locale always makes you want to go there. Another great book by Ms. Rice... do some more like this, Luanne.
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Format: Hardcover
In Connecticut, defense attorney John O'Rourke struggles with his moral dilemma of defending some of society's worse monsters to insure they have a fair trail and the requirements of a single dad raising two youngsters by himself. The townsfolk treat John like a pariah especially with his current case, defending Greg Merrill, the Breakwater Killer. The latest incident is a brick tossed threw his kitchen window that two cops blithely write it off as if John was the criminal.
Immediately following the brick incident, Kate Harris arrives at the O'Rourke residence. She wants John to ascertain whether his infamous client killed her sister, who vanished without the body recovered. As Kate helps the O'Rourkes heal from the loss of their mother, she falls in love with the trio. The kids welcome her into their lives, but John is reluctant as he feels guilt over his spouse's cheating while he overly worked on defending the dregs.
THE SECRET HOUR is a powerful legal romantic thriller that is at its best when John, living up to the Dershowitz credo that a "good lawyer should want to take the hardest cases, the most unpopular defendants", must defend himself and his children from his neighbors. Readers will feel his strength from the start when John thinks back on an incident at an ice cream parlor with his young daughter involving the condemnation by a senior citizen. The story line is fast-paced yet obvious, but romantic suspense fans and legal thriller buffs will want to read this close look at the toll of defending death row convicts on the personal lives of an attorney and his family.
Harriet Klausner
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