Sharon Sala, Author . Mira $6.50 (384p) ISBN 1-55166-844-0

Well-developed secondary characters and a surprise ending spice up a familiar story line in Sala's latest romantic intrigue (after Familiar Stranger). Mystery writer Caitlin Bennett, the wealthy daughter of a deceased media mogul, has been receiving threatening letters for the past six months, but it isn't until she's pushed in front of a truck on a slippery Manhattan street that she realizes how determined her stalker is. For her protection, Aaron Workman, her best friend and editor, calls in his stepbrother, ex-cop Mac McKee, even though he knows that Caitlin and Mac rub each other the wrong way. Caitlin's hostile attitude toward Mac, which is based on a few dates and several presuppositions about his character, slowly and unconvincingly turns into love as the suspense snowballs and the stalker begins to target women who look like Caitlin. Sala (aka Dinah McCall) deftly depicts the camaraderie between Aaron and Mac and manages to keep the stalker's identity under wraps until the novel's end. Caitlin and Mac's relationship, on the other hand, is underdeveloped, and the story's pacing is sluggish. Although this perfunctory tale won't satisfy romance readers, fans of mainstream suspense novels may come away with a few thrills. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 10/22/2001
Release date: 11/01/2001
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