cover image Just Before Dawn

Just Before Dawn

Rochelle Alers. Arabesque, $5.99 (304pp) ISBN 978-1-58314-103-8

After successfully convicting a high-profile businessman with Mafia ties, New York Assistant District Attorney Sara Sterling retreats to her parents' sprawling New Mexico horse ranch for a three-month leave of absence. There, she expects to escape the strain of police escorts and the many anonymous death threats she's been receiving. Sara soon meets Salem Lassiter, a handsome Navajo veterinarian whose troubled romantic past includes the recent suicide of his pregnant wife and the death of his toddler son. Sara, who has been dealing with her own personal issues since her ex-fianc came out of the closet, quickly warms up to the doctor. Alers (Harvest Moon) builds suspense by interspersing the dialogue with conversations between the man who wants Sara dead at any cost and the ineffectual hit man he's hired to infiltrate her Southwestern sanctuary. Blessed with the mystical powers of a shaman, Salem (even while hundreds of miles away on a business trip) is able to sense the danger and death following Sara, which is lucky for her but leaves few real surprises for the reader. (May)