White Orchid ) makes a successful venture into thriller territory with this first in a series featuring Missouri homicide detective Claire "/>

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Linda Ladd, Author . Pinnacle $6.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-7860-1717-1

Romance novelist Ladd (White Orchid ) makes a successful venture into thriller territory with this first in a series featuring Missouri homicide detective Claire Morgan. Canton County, located on the "Lake Tahoe of the Ozarks," is a relaxing beat for the former Los Angeles cop until a soap opera star, vacationing at an exclusive resort for the rich and richer, is found at the bottom of the lake—naked, taped to a chair and sitting at a fully set dinner table. As she pursues the investigation to Louisiana and California and back, Morgan herself is pursued by her prime suspect: the resort's handsome, charming owner, Dr. Nicholas Black, whose romantic advances may hide a dangerous agenda. Though Ladd saddles Morgan with an all-purpose tragic past and occasional logic-deficient reasoning, she's a smart, strong character capable enough to avoid the woman-in-distress scenarios her genre colleagues so typically fall into. Despite a propensity for caustic rambling, her tough-girl voice keeps the story moving toward a satisfying denouement with plenty of suspense and surprises. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 01/09/2006
Release date: 03/01/2006
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