cover image Infamous


Suzanne Brockmann, Ballantine, $7.99 (448p) ISBN 978-0-345-52120-0

Veteran A.J. Gallagher suffers PTSD from the first Gulf War, leading to "lost years" of homelessness and alcoholism before he pulls his life together. Historian Alison Carter, daughter of an alcoholic, spends a decade writing about the gunfight in which Arizona marshal Silas Quinn shot notorious outlaw James "Kid" Gallagher, who had kidnapped and killed Silas's beloved wife, Melody. Then James Gallagher's ghost appears to A.J., his great-grandson, and asks him to get Alison to set the record straight: Silas was corrupt and abusive, and Melody and James ran off to a long, happy life in Alaska. A.J. and Alison are well-developed, damaged souls who begin their achingly beautiful romance with a big secret between them: how can he tell her his primary source is a ghost? Brockmann's only error is including a heavy-handed suspense plot that bogs down the otherwise beautifully layered story. (Aug.)