Saturday, February 21, 2009

Romantic Notions-Karen Wiesner and Chris Spindler

Romantic Notions
Karen Wiesner and Chris Spindler
Swimming Kangaroo Books, December 2008, $14.99
ISBN: 1934041009

In Wisconsin Falcon's Bend Police Department police officers Amber Carfi and Warren Jensen are a team at work and are now lovers off-duty; although they hide their new relationship from the brass especially Chief Sobcynzski, who loathes fraternizing. However, concealing their love for one another is proving difficult as any sleuth can see the lingering glance the pair shares.

Elderly Mrs. Frederick calls her neighbor Amber informing her that her daughter Erin Daughtry was just murdered. Amber and Warren check the locale and find the naked corpse of a young woman posed in a virginal way on her bed with a bullet through her heart, a rose between her breasts and an attached gold wedding band. They call for the homicide team and Lieutenants Pete Shasta and Danny Vincent arrive to take charge of the crime scene. Even eerier than the posed body is the accompanying note: “What is done out of love always takes place beyond good and evil." Posing as Callista, Amber goes undercover to ferret out a killer focusing on the cheating boyfriend of the deceased; only to have FBI Agent Robert Lock arrive boasting he and Amber were an entry at one time.

This is an intriguing small-town police procedural with a romantic subplot between two of the cops. The investigation and its subsequent undercover operation engages the audience who like Amber will suspect the victim’s boyfriend though other individuals have motives; while ironically the concealing of their romance by Amber and Warren seems to have failed as not just readers can sense the attraction. Fans will enjoy this fine cop thriller that contrasts a loving love with a lethal love.

Harriet Klausner