Detective Claudia Hershey is just about to leave the police station in Indian Run, Florida for a well-earned vacation when the call comes in. A man named Charles Gottu is complaining about the burglary of his home. Claudia volunteers to stop by the scene of the crime and take the report, no problem.
Stepping into the foyer of the house in the new housing development of Willow Whisper, Claudia finds herself held hostage at gunpoint, along with four residents of the development. After a lengthy conversation in which Gottu admits that his real name is Steven Hemmer (Gottu-Got you! he laughs), Claudia attempts to subdue the gunman. She has everything under control until one of the hostages pulls a knife and kills Hemmer with one thrust in the throat.
Sick at heart-for the death of Hemmer was unnecessary and therefore tragic-Claudia goes home to face an empty house. But she's not to have her vacation, because the man who killed Hemmer, Bill Bonolo, is on television and radio news shows, crowing about how he saved the female police detective's butt by his own heroic actions. He also quotes the Mayor as saying Claudia is suffering from stress and about to go on leave. This, plus the reasons Steven Hemmer gave for taking the people hostage in the first place, makes Claudia determined to find out more about Bonolo and the situation. And why is the Mayor giving Bonolo personal information about Claudia?
This story is engrossing, appealing, and well-written. Claudia is a sympathetic heroine and her relationships with her daughter Robin and her friends on the police force are engaging. Its fast pace will keep you reading until you finish. I couldn't put it down.
This is Belgrave's third book. I haven't read the previous two but intend to rectify that as soon as I can get copies of them. Highly Recommended.
©2003 and beyond by Peggy Guinn Bowen. Not to be used without permission by anyone except the specific author being reviewed.