cover image No Safe Place

No Safe Place

JoAnn Ross, . . Pocket, $7.50 (383pp) ISBN 978-1-4165-0166-4

Ross's return to the bayous of Louisiana sizzles with the sensuality and danger fans of her romantic thrillers have come to expect, as Chicago detective Kate Delaney travels to post-Katrina New Orleans to investigate the supposed suicide of her estranged twin sister. Once there, Kate finds she can't trust the NOPD, so joins forces with bad-boy private investigator Nick Broussard, a former New Orleans police officer recently thrown off the force. Their investigation turns up a killer, a plague of corruption and a mystery assailant whose target is unclear; is Kate the next victim of a serial killer, or are Nick's crime world contacts looking to silence him? Though Nick and Kate's instant attraction might seem predictable and precipitous—yes, she's a "no-nonsense, Joe Friday, Yankee police detective" and he's "the most frustrating man she'd ever met"—the scintillating love scenes it yields shouldn't disappoint. Though new readers will find Ross's casual, chatty prose style a love-it-or-hate-it affair, it pairs well with the Big Easy backdrop, and her deliberate pace pays off in the powerful, action-packed conclusion. (Mar.)