cover image Dark Summer

Dark Summer

Iris Johansen, . . St. Martin?s, $25.95 (378pp) ISBN 978-0-312-36808-1

Usually adept at fusing well-developed characters with edge-of-your-seat action and adventure, bestseller Johansen (Pandora’s Daughter ) stumbles in this novel of romantic suspense revolving around a tumultuous relationship. Veterinarian Devon Brady and enigmatic former navy SEAL Jude Marrok meet on a small Caribbean island recently devastated by an earthquake. When a sniper shoots Marrok’s rescue dog, Ned, while searching for survivors in the rubble of a village, Marrok orders Brady to treat the black Lab, then promptly disappears. In a note he leaves for Brady, he promises to pick up Ned from her later. Soon after returning to her home on the outskirts of Denver with Ned, Brady finds herself a target in a deadly conflict involving international intelligence agents, ruthless billionaire entrepreneurs and Native American shamanism. An unnecessarily convoluted and at times unbelievable plot builds to a predictable conclusion. 650,000 first printing. (Oct.)