Secret Admirer

Secret Admirer

by Patricia Macdonald, Patricia Bourgeau
     
 

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Laura Reed feels safe and happy in Cape Christian, a little jewel of Victorian architecture and quiet streets on New Jersey's southern tip. The children's books she writes are earning her modest fame; her husband Jimmy's art gallery is flourishing; and Cape Christian is the right kind of small town in which to raise their little boy, Michael. She never dreams that

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Overview

Laura Reed feels safe and happy in Cape Christian, a little jewel of Victorian architecture and quiet streets on New Jersey's southern tip. The children's books she writes are earning her modest fame; her husband Jimmy's art gallery is flourishing; and Cape Christian is the right kind of small town in which to raise their little boy, Michael. She never dreams that this New Year's Eve her nearly perfect life will end. That a man in a ski mask will break into her house, knock her out, and shoot her husband dead. That it will be nearly one hour before she revives and calls 911. That those missing minutes before her call will convince the police that she committed the crime. Although there is too little evidence to arrest her, Laura feels the eyes of the entire community - including her in-laws' - accusing her. Even her lawyer, Jimmy's business partner, doesn't seem to believe her. Her only ally is Gary, a young wheelchair-bound painter. His faithful devotion and the bouquets he sends brighten Laura's days. Then Ian Turner docks his sailboat in Cape Christian, and a chance meeting brings him into Laura's life. His marriage, too, has ended in tragedy, and he not only believes Laura, but falls in love with her. For the first time since Jimmy's murder, Laura dares to feel alive. Until she begins to sense that danger is near.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Mediocre writing almost sinks MacDonald's (Mother's Day and Little Sister) awkward hybrid of mystery and romance. Laura Reed is a renowned children's-book writer whose personal life is just as fulfilling as her professional one. She lives in a perfectly restored Victorian home in a relentlessly quaint town on the New Jersey shore with her loving husband, Jimmy, and their five-year-old son. But it all ends on New Year's Eve when an intruder conks her on the head and shoots Jimmy to death in their bed. Because she was unconscious, an hour passed before the police were called; Laura becomes the prime suspect, but the prosecutor doesn't have enough evidence to arrest her. While law enforcement hunts, Laura goes into seclusion for five months. On her first day out, she happens to meet Ian Hunter, a lone sailor who recently and tragically lost his own wife and son. They quickly become involved. Was their meeting chance-or something more sinister? Despite a shamelessly contrived plot and barely believable characters, MacDonald keeps her readers guessing until a conclusion that may make the preceding worth wading through. (Aug.)
Library Journal
Some readers prefer popular novels whose authors cleverly manipulate or even alter established patterns. Others derive pleasure from genre fiction when authors carefully adhere to formula. Secret Admirer appeals to the latter group, for it employs almost every convention of romantic suspense fiction. Laura Reed, widowed by the unsolved murder of her beloved husband, Jimmy, struggles to control her sorrow and to comfort her young son. The attentions of a handsome stranger, Ian Turner, renew Laura's interest in life and allow mother and son to hope they can once again be happy. Then, accusations that she killed Jimmy force Laura to doubt every friend, including Ian. All questions remain unsolved until Laura herself confronts the murderer. MacDonald's (Mother's Day, Warner, 1994) clever title is both a clue and a red herring. Useful for large collections of popular fiction.-Jane S. Bakerman, Indiana State Univ., Terre Haute
Emily Melton
The plot of MacDonald's latest sounds a bit like some recent made-for-TV movies, but the taut-as-a-bowstring suspense will keep readers' minds firmly on what happens next. Laura Reed has a near-perfect life, living with her husband, Jimmy, and young son, Michael, in a picturesque seacoast town. But her world turns upside down when a midnight intruder kills Jimmy. Despite Laura's pleas, the police seem oddly reluctant to search for the killer, and it finally dawns on Laura that the cops think "she"'s the murderer. Enter handsome Ian Turner, who seems to be the perfect antidote to Laura's anguish and grief. Only five months after Jimmy's death, Laura elopes with Ian, setting tongues wagging and raising eyebrows all over town. Then damning evidence turns up that incontrovertibly links Laura to her husband's death, and she's arrested for murder. Laura knows she didn't kill Jimmy--but who did? And why? Helpless, Laura can trust no one except herself as she struggles to establish her innocence and find Jimmy's real killer. Riveting and relentless.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780446516860
Publisher:
Grand Central Publishing
Publication date:
12/03/2001
Pages:
352
Product dimensions:
5.75(w) x 8.75(h) x 1.25(d)

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Meet the Author

Patricia MacDonald is the author of several novels, including The Unforgiven, which was nominated for an Edgar Award. Her darkly imaginative works have won her critical acclaim and a wide audience across America. She lives with her husband and daughter in Cape May, New Jersey.

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