In Harm’s Way by Lyn Stone
(Silh. Int. Mom. #1193, $4.75. PG) ISBN 0-373-27263-4
****
Pretty quickly Robin Andrews ends up In Harm’s Way. She is in Nashville at the request of her husband from whom she has been separated for over a year. She was on her way from New York to Florida when he had asked her to bring him a computer disk that he had been keeping in her safety deposit box. She arrives too late - and finds him shot to death in his apartment.

Mistakenly, Robin handles the gun leaving her fingerprints and calls the police. When they arrive they find a very controlled wife who does not appear to be grieving. Immediately, she rises to the top of the suspect list. Her former career as a model has taught her too much about disguising her emotions.

Mitch Winton is a mere hour away from vacation when he finds that he and his partner Kick Taylor have drawn the case. By the time Mitch arrives on the scene, Kick has already determined that Robin is guilty. Partially in response to his newly acquired partner’s quick rush to judgment, Mitch hopes to prove Robin innocent. He soon has full time to do this since he is suspended pending an investigation into a shooting.

Rapidly Robin becomes a target, and the reason for this escapes Mitch until Robin finally trusts him enough to tell him about the computer disk she was asked to bring her husband. The contents of the disk reveal enough for Mitch to begin to understand the complexity of the victim’s life, but not enough to identify the killer. The plot is enhanced by the new dimension of information gathering on the Internet to resolve such issues as motive.

Stone has done a remarkable job shaping her characters. Robin Andrews is a blend of the poise and sophistication acquired through a career of runway modeling, plus extreme vulnerability. She has been fashioned by her emotional baggage - instead of being a character created with an overlay of angst the usual way who then proceeds to agonize for the rest of the novel or until a hero fixes everything. This character is trying to survive, the only way she knows how.

Mitch Winton is the archetypal Southern “good old boy” who is exactly what he appears, except for being a whole lot smarter. A product of a happy childhood and a Tennessee upbringing, he provides an interesting balance in a plot that evolves naturally rather than bouncing from one contrived situation to the next. The love story is a perfect example of water wearing away stone in his hot pursuit of Robin.

Lyn Stone has skillfully created and consistently sustained the sexual tension and the suspense as she interweaves the two in ways that are realistic, keeping reader interest at a peak.

--Thea Davis


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