Monday, December 14, 2009
Spotlight Review: MIDNIGHT PLEASURES WITH A SCOUNDREL by Lorraine Heath
Miss Eleanor Watkins, daughter of an obscure viscount, has come to London for one reason...vengeance. She's willing to die if necessary, so long as the man who drove her sister to suicide dies first.
James Swindler has made a name for himself working for justice as Scotland Yard's most successful detective, a far cry from the orphaned thief he once was after he watched his father hang. His current assignment doesn't sit well with him; it's not one of the usual crimes he's good at solving. The Marquess of Rockberry reported a young woman wants to kill him. Swindler's assignment is to follow the woman and ascertain her intent.
As Eleanor trails Rockberry through a pleasure park at night, she has the uncanny feeling she is being followed instead.
Swindler wonders at the young woman putting herself in such danger and has to come to her rescue when three "gentlemen" accost her. In this way he meets his subject. Eventually, he decides he must woo her into revealing her motives for following the marquess around, though he can't imagine this young innocent represents any danger to the peer.
MIDNIGHT PLEASURES WITH A SCOUNDREL is the fourth novel in the Scoundrels of St. James series that chronicles the adventures of a group of slum children who once thieved for their living. One of them was found to be the lost heir of an earl, another became a wealthy owner of a gentleman's club, and the lone female married into the aristocracy. The four remain fast friends and, along with their spouse, come to Swindler's aid before the tale is over.
As in the earlier books, the main characters arouse compassion and admiration, and the plot is compelling. There is mystery and emotion enough to keep a body reading way past bedtime. It's not a light read; parts are quite dark and twisty, but the whole is riveting.