Out of Nowhere

Doris Mortman, Author, Mortman, Author
Doris Mortman, Author, Mortman, Author Kensington Publishing Corporation $23.95 (464p) ISBN 978-1-57566-301-2
Reviewed on: 06/29/1998
Release date: 07/01/1998
Mass Market Paperbound - 540 pages - 978-0-8217-6253-0
Compact Disc - 978-0-7366-8042-4
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A skillful manipulator of the heartstrings, bestseller Mortman (The Lucky Ones) adds a thriller dimension and some convincing details to her latest romantic novel. Amanda Maxwell, a slim beauty who coolly photographs corpses for the NYPD, came by her sangfroid the hard way. Born Erica Baird, she was forced to disappear into the Witness Security Program (WITSEC) at age nine, when her mother, Cynthia, testified at two trials to avenge the death of Erica's Uncle Ken, a drug enforcement agent. Not even Erica's father, Lionel Baird, whom Cynthia had divorced, could know that Erica and Cynthia survived the firebombing of their Miami house, staged by the U.S. Marshall as cover. After two decades of shadowy self-invention, described in harrowing detail by Mortman, Amanda leaves her mother and cuts the WITSEC umbilicus for a new life in Manhattan--not coincidentally the home of her father. Super-rich, in the throes of his third divorce, Lionel is a tough-minded mover and shaker, but he still grieves for his supposedly lost child. Mortman captures the nuances of father-daughter relationships. Amanda (dubbed Max by her cop colleagues) and Lionel are mistaken for lovers as they rediscover each other over expensive dinners. The confusion suits Max. She has left WITSEC but not its mindset, and she's still aware that there are drug lords and mobsters who would close in for the kill if they knew her identity. Meanwhile, she struggles with her erotic feelings for slick financier Tyler Grayson and earthy PI Jake Fowler, men of mystery themselves, unnervingly linked to her past. Trusting the wrong one could cost more than a broken heart. Amanda is a sympathetic heroine whose travails will intrigue readers of this capably plotted tale. Major ad/promo; author tour. (July)
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