Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Last Kiss-Luanne Rice

Last Kiss
Luanne Rice
Bantam, Jul 29 2008, $25.00
ISBN: 9780553805123

One year may have past since Charlie died in what the New York police determined was a random act; however, his mother singer/songwriter Sheridan still grieves her loss, numbing her pain with Wild Turkey. Joining her in mourning is Charlie’s girlfriend Nell who has worn a ragged anklet cloth he gave her 35- plus days ago just prior to the lethal mugging. Both women who adored Charlie visit his gravesite in Hubbard's Point, Connecticut regularly.

Nell has doubts about the NYPD rush to judgment that her beloved was in the wrong place at the wrong time due to a bad luck occurrence. She needs to prove the cops wrong, but understands this is real life not fiction so an amateur is not successfully sleuthing. Instead she hires private investigator former Hubbard’s Point native son Gavin Dawson to uncover the truth of what happened to Charlie. Gavin has an extra incentive as his beloved Sheridan tossed him to the curb for his youthful out of control lifestyle; he prays maturity and solving the case will give him a second chance with Sheridan.

The return to Hubbard’s Point (see THE PERFECT SUMMER, SUMMER’S CHILD and SUMMER OF ROSES) is an exciting investigative romance with a touch of the paranormal and a feel of homecoming (appearances by former stars) although mourning is everywhere. The inquiry raises some intriguing questions related to Charlie’s death, but though driven by a personal cause Gavin struggles to affirm premeditated. However, the key to the tale is Sheridan whose grief is so strong that her melancholy seems to be overwhelming Gavin’s attempts for a second chance at love. LAST KISS is a deep character driven thriller.

Harriet Klausner