Thursday, November 29, 2007

Without Warning-Eugenia Lovett West

Without Warning
Eugenia Lovett West
St. Martin's, Nov 2007, $24.95
ISBN: 9780312371135

In affluent Connecticut forty-seven years old former opera star Emma Streat, may be suffering from the empty nest syndrome with her boys at college, but believes her concern for her spouse Lewis has nothing to do with the kids being away from home. Instead she sees firsthand the recent erratic behavior of Lewis, CEO of a firm that contracts with the Department of Defense. His sudden need for incredible layers of security that the President would envy seems excessive and scary to Emma. She has asked him several times why he is so tense and frightened, but he refuses to talk to her.

On a trip to London together, Lewis tells Emma he has some problems with a new laser weapons project that his firm is working on for DOD. When they return home to New England, Lewis dies in an accident. If he had not acted paranoid, Emma would have just grieved her loss, but she suspects foul play. She travels back across the ocean where she learns two physicists associated with the project recently died in accidents. Emma knows that three in a rather short time frame is not accidental coincidence, but probable homicides. She risks her life to learn who and why.

Emma’s grief over her husband’s sudden death seems genuine and serves as a realistic motivator for her to pursue the truth. Her investigation on both sides of the pond, but especially in England is fun to follow as the attacks on her life only encourages her to dig deeper. Fans will appreciate this amateur sleuth because the heroine’s need to know why Lewis died makes for a compelling tale.

Harriet Klausner