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A well-drawn, appealing protagonist helps offset the lack of tension and suspense in Petersen's first novel. Peter Ellis, a British Columbia probation officer, takes on a celebrity client, former hockey star Todd Nolin, who's been arrested for spousal abuse. That Nolin has come down in the world-he's now the assistant manager of a sports store-hasn't tempered his arrogance. Since Nolin's bail order prohibits him from going near the condo he once shared with his wife, Marina Faro, Ellis offers to pick up some clothes for Nolin from his former home. After meeting the lovely Marina, Ellis begins inventing excuses to see her. The smitten Ellis makes a number of bad choices that lead to a predictable finale orchestrated by Nolin, a stereotypical domestic bully. Petersen, a probation officer himself, is also the author of a story collection, Let the Day Perish(1999). (Mar.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.