cover image Ryan's Return

Ryan's Return

Barbara Freethy. Avon Books, $5.99 (374pp) ISBN 978-0-380-78531-5

Hoping to draw tourists to Serenity Springs' Centennial Celebration and boost the town's economy, chamber of commerce president Kara Delaney invites a famous former resident, photo-journalist Ryan Hunter, to be the guest of honor. But Ryan was something of a black sheep, and Kara's grand plan sours when Ryan's father threatens to boycott the festivities and torrential rains pelt the town. As Kara's Aunt Josephine says: ""When the river rises, the secrets of years past are washed ashore and brought to life."" The town's secrets are the fiber that holds this tale together: What happened to Ryan's mother when she deserted her two young sons? Is Ryan the real father of his brother's child? Whose ghost is trying to communicate with Kara's 11-year-old daughter? Freethy (Daniel's Gift) delivers strong, compelling narrative but her characters are more suited to soaps. (Oct.)