In the best romance/thriller tradition, three-time British novelist Rossiter sets strong-willed, likable English actress Joanna Fleming a fascinating dual mystery to solve: after a car accident leaves her with amnesia, she must both recover her memory and find out who is so threatened by her lost knowledge as to want to kill her. In beautifully evoked Italian countryside, Joanna fights constant doubts about all that her elderly aunt Steffy, lover Roddy Marchant and director Frank Harmer tell her about her identity. She is especially suspicious of Steffy's intense, handsome and cynical stepson, journalist Angelo Valente. Certain objects and places--a single stud earring, a fancy gown, her aunt's fragrant lemon garden--trigger abject terror in Joanna, leading others to wonder if she's lost her wits. After Angelo saves her from a murder attempt, Joanna finally decides to trust him, and together they investigate a possible link between Joanna's accident and the murder of a female reporter whose body is found near Steffy's home. Drawn to the lemon garden to verify her own understanding of the past, Joanna at last completes the circle of memory. A gutsy heroine and a taut, psychologically suspenseful read. (July)
This romantic thriller opens with heroine Joanna Fleming greeting a total stranger in her hospital room. A car crash has erased Joanna's memory, and her closest friends are now strangers. As Joanna struggles to find some key to unlock her memory, questioning friends and her film associates, she gradually comes to suspect that the car crash was not an accident. Clues begin to pile up that spark feelings of unease or total unreasoning terror. She hears a tourist couple speaking German, and panics. And vague memories of lemon trees seem to offer some sort of answer. When a young woman is stabbed on a crowded train platform, Joanna realizes the knife was meant for her. Unless she can find her memory, the killer will be free to strike again. The author has succeeded in capturing the colorful ambience of Italy and brings to life a strong, likable heroine in this engrossing novel. Perfect for summer reading. Recommended.-- A.M.B. Amantia, Population Crisis Committee Lib., Washington, D.C.
YA-- Film star Joanna Fleming awakens in an Italian hospital to find that she is amnesic, with no knowledge of her friends, family, or previous life. This intriguing novel sets about to unravel the mystery of her past and of a murder she unknowingly witnessed. Joanna has supportive friends to help her, but she experiences a recurring sense of forboding, particularly in the lemon garden of her aunt's home , where she begins her convalescence. Rossiter does a nice job of maintaining reader interest in the search for Fleming's past and the identity of the murderer who is now stalking the actress. --Diane Goheen, Topeka West High School, KS