Magic Hour

Kristin Hannah, Author . Ballantine $23.95 (391p) ISBN 978-0-345-46752-2

Hannah's melodramatic 15th novel (after The Things We Do for Love ) tells the addictive soap opera story of a feral child and the adults who rally to help her. The cast of stock characters is led by child psychiatrist Dr. Julia Cates, whose reputation was ruined when she failed to prevent a teen patient from staging a Columbine-style massacre. Her sister, Ellie Barton, a smalltown former homecoming queen–turned–chief of police, summons Julia from Los Angeles to their Pacific Northwest hometown of Rain Valley to take on the case of a mysterious lost child, who appeared one day on the edge of town, presumably raised by wolves. With the dashing doctor Dr. Max Cerrasin at her side, Julia works diligently to tame the mute girl, whom she names Alice. Max, like Julia, is running from demons of his own. Though she initially rebuffs his overtures ("When I love, I risk my heart. All or nothing," Julia declares), their romance inevitably blossoms while they work to solve the mystery of Alice's parentage. The novel's real love story, though, is the passion between Alice and Julia, and it's hard not to root for the vulnerable little Wolf Girl. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 11/28/2005
Release date: 02/01/2006
Genre: Fiction
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