cover image A Dark Love

A Dark Love

Margaret Carroll, . . Avon, $7.99 (394pp) ISBN 978-0-06-165278-3

Romantic comedy author Carroll (The True Match ) brings tight prose and excellent pacing to her tense first thriller. Caroline Hughes abandons her abusive, controlling psychiatrist husband, hoping to begin a new life with a new name, but Dr. Porter Moross, a Freudian analyst who's more psycho than therapist, willingly destroys his life and career in a mad effort to track his elusive wife across the country. Finding shelter in a tiny mountain town, Caroline meets divorced football player Ken Kincaid, but their romance sometimes seems wedged into a story mostly focused on Porter's madness and Caroline's fear. Porter is both terrifying and sympathetic, while Caroline seems almost waifish until an unexpected and satisfying ending makes it clear that she's not just waiting for Ken to save her. Suspense fans who like a touch of romance will find this a winner. (Sept.)