Brenda Joyce, Author . St. Martin's $24.95 (384p) ISBN 978-0-312-28474-9

At the start of this trashy but alluring romantic thriller by Joyce (The Rival), 32-year-old Kait London, a New York City PR executive, gets a surprise midnight call from her estranged twin sister, Lana. The two haven't been in touch in years. While they were growing up, Kait was the good girl and Lana was popular with boys, a poor student and a risk-taker. Now Lana needs Kait's help. She's in trouble, she says, "the killing kind." She wants Kait to switch places with her for two days while she straightens out some ugly business with a loan shark, and Kait, thrilled to see her aloof sister again, agrees. In Lana's clothes, but with virtually no knowledge of her life, Kait appears at her lavish Virginia estate. She finds that Lana's handsome husband, Trevor Coleman, plans to divorce her, that her teenaged stepdaughter, Sam, can't stand her and that the housekeeper is hostile. Even four-year-old Marnie greets her "mommy" with doubt and fear, and the local community resents Lana for her many flagrant affairs. Kait continues to believe that she's protecting Lana from a mysterious killer and dutifully tries to mend fences with her de facto husband and stepdaughter. But Lana's initial story is looking less and less likely. While she's out riding one day, someone takes a shot at Kait. From that point on the action accelerates, with episodes of every possible crime from arson to thievery, as well as plenty of sex. Despite major credibility issues—would anyone really believe Kait was Lana for more than five minutes?—it's a juicy premise, and Joyce tells her story in satisfying pulp style. (July)

Reviewed on: 06/23/2003
Release date: 07/01/2003
Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 376 pages - 978-0-312-99145-6
Hardcover - 549 pages - 978-1-58724-497-1
Open Ebook - 384 pages - 978-1-4299-0590-9
MP3 CD - 978-1-5226-7597-6
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