Thursday, December 29, 2011

Next Of Kin-Sharon Sala

Next Of Kin

Sharon Sala

Mira, Jan 31 2012, $7.99

ISBN: 9780778313120

In the Los Angeles area, while staying at a friend’s house Beth Venable witnesses a mob kill, but the murderer knows someone observed the homicide. The killer murders Beth’s friend who he assumes is the person who saw him. The FBI places her in a safe house until she can give testimony at the trial, but a predator stalks her. Two more failed safe houses persuade Beth that the Feds are incompetent, traitorous or both. She flees them and her killer for the anonymity of her Kentucky family in the Appalachian.

Besides her clan rallying around the prodigal child’s return, Beth’s former sweetheart Ryal Walker welcomes her back with a need for a second chance. While Beth considers staying at her old Kentucky home with Ryal, her persistent predator comes to the obscure mountain ridge seeking to kill Beth and anyone in his way.

The theme of this Rebel Ridge romantic suspense has been used a lot, but talented Sharon Sala makes it feel like she is the first author to use a hit man coming after a witness-damsel in distress. The lead couple is a delightful second chance pairing while her kin bring to life the dirt roads and shacks of Appalachia compared to “L.A. is a great big freeway” (Do you know the way to San Jose?). What really makes the thriller work is brave bodacious Beth who refuses to fold just because a pro stalks her.

Harriet Klausner

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