Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A Perfect 10:

DID YOU MISS ME? – Karen Rose
A Perfect 10
NAL
ISBN: 978-0451-41409-0
February 2013
Romantic Suspense

Baltimore, Maryland – Present Day

Recently appointed State's Attorney, Daphne Montgomery is tying up her most controversial case to date. The case has garnered massive media attention, and the family of the defendant has made death threats against Daphne and her family. Daphne has pulled herself out of a tragic past, and her rise to the top and the conviction of this killer is the pinnacle of her career and proof that she has overcome her past.

Joseph Carter, Special FBI Agent recently transferred to the Baltimore office, is contacted by his father when his protégé, Ford Elkhart, fails to show up for work. Ford is the twenty year-old son of State's Attorney Daphne Montgomery, and because of his unrequited feelings for Daphne, Joseph takes Ford's disappearance personally.

When Daphne learns of Ford's disappearance, she is convinced the abduction of Ford and his girl friend and the murder of the bodyguard Daphne secretly hired are tied to the Millhouse murder trial that has just concluded with a guilty verdict for the defendant. The Millhouses are a vicious, violent family and have made no secret of their hatred for Daphne. Daphne is filled with fear and guilt that she did not do enough to protect her son. Special Agent Carter, whom Daphne has longed for since she first met him, is in charge of the investigation, and it's his assurance and quite comfort that helps Daphne keep it together . . . for a while.

When no ransom demands are made of Daphne or her extremely wealthy ex-husband, Daphne and Joseph are convinced the Millhouses are behind the abduction of Ford and his girl friend. As the hours count down and there is no ransom demand, Joseph begins to wonder who is really behind the abduction. It soon becomes apparent that there is more than meets the eye and that the past Daphne though she escaped may be closer than she thought.

DID YOU MISS ME? Is a tense and highly suspenseful novel. The plot is unique, and the weaving of the various pieces of the past and present make for a riveting read. There are many secondary characters, some familiar from Ms. Rose's previous novels, and all are fascinating additions to the cast of DID YOU MISS ME? In addition to the mystery of who kidnapped Ford, there is the deeper mystery of who is really out to get Daphne. While the Millhouses are the obvious suspects, the reader is aware from the beginning that the puppet master is someone else entirely. He's smart and crafty and dedicated to destroying Daphne.

Secondary to the suspenseful plot is the romance that blossoms between Daphne and Joseph. It's very subtle but very much a part of the book. Normally, in a novel with this type of plot a romance would seem superficial or forced, or at the very least out of place; however, in this case Daphne and Joseph both have been carrying a torch for the other since they met. While the timing could have been better for them to reveal their feelings for each other, it in no way detracted from the complex and gripping story. All of the characters in this novel are well developed; Ford is an intelligent and tough young man, even tougher than his mother knows. Other characters of note, Private Investigator Clay Maynard, and Grayson and Paige from NO ONE LEFT TO TELL, are also a part of the cast.

From the minute I picked up DID YOU MISS ME? I was glued to the pages. The action and suspense are there from page one, starting with the brawl in the courtroom when the verdict is read, to the attempted murder of Daphne on the front steps as she gives a statement to the press. And from there the tension and suspense continue to build. The villain is extremely well drawn, and while I believe he deserves his ending, I have to admit to feeling a bit of sympathy for him.

For a novel that will pull you in from the first page and keep you turning the pages late into the night, I highly recommend Karen Rose's DID YOU MISS ME? Karen Rose is without a doubt one of the best authors of gripping suspense in the market today, and DID YOU MISS ME? is a perfect example of her excellent craftsmanship. A Perfect 10 and a must read for the lover of romantic suspense.

Terrie Figueroa

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