Author: Peter Swanson
Publication Information: William Morrow, trade paperback, 2014
Genre: Suspense, set in the US
Plot: George Foss leads a dull life in Boston and friend-with-benefits-Irene is his only social outlet until Liana Decter reappears in his life unexpectedly. During his freshman year in college, he fell magically in love with a beautiful young woman who didn’t return after Christmas vacation. George traveled to her small home town in Florida to find out what had happened and learned she was involved in a murder. Following his disastrous trip, George returned to college and tried to forget Liana.
Twenty years later Liana appears at George’s neighborhood bar and asks him for a favor. She says she’s made some bad choices and needs a reliable intermediary to return stolen property. She promises there is no danger to George, and he is so mesmerized at being near her again, he fails to exercise any form of common sense. His seemingly simple errand for Liana plunges him into danger in a fast paced-thriller that is hard to put down.
Audience: Suspense and mystery readers; fans of authors such as Harlan Coben, Stuart Woods, and James Grippando
What I liked: Although this started slowly and the flashback that opened the story was distracting, once the action began it was like a roller coaster of twists and turns – some of which might have been predictable if I had stopped for breath while reading (or if George had looked before he leaped). It was a fast, fun read, as well as being a good variation on the predictable reunions of long-separated lovers.
And how can Liana be all bad (rhetorical question – she is) if Rebecca is her favorite book (although it seems improbable she would have come across it by 18 but maybe she had a good librarian)?
What I disliked: None of the characters was very likeable; even the hero lost my sympathy by walking into danger repeatedly. Could a woman really exercise that sort of power over someone who hadn’t seen her for twenty years?