cover image What a Woman's Gotta Do: A Novel of Suspense

What a Woman's Gotta Do: A Novel of Suspense

Evelyn Coleman. Simon & Schuster, $23 (320pp) ISBN 978-0-684-83175-6

A journalist risks life and limb--and heartbreak--as she investigates the disappearance of her fiance in this assured thriller from first-time novelist Coleman. After Kenneth Lawson deserts African American Atlanta journalist Patricia Conley on their wedding day, she finds clues that suggest he may not have had a choice. Lawson had claimed to be a professor between positions, but the note and rare diamond ring he leaves for her indicate that his life was far more complex. So do the bloodstains in the car that took him out of her life. A fiercely self-reliant, recovering alcoholic who protects herself with a rough and ready wit, Conley gradually unearths a transcontinental genetic engineering conspiracy behind Lawson's disappearance, learns to trust again and, along the way, meditates on what it means to be a successful black woman today. Although Coleman occasionally bogs down in scientific detail, her inventive, funny debut makes it clear that she knows how to keep the pages turning. Author tour. (Mar.)