Lethal Attraction
by Diana Duncan
(SRS #1510, $4.99, PG) ISBN 0-373-27580-9
***
Lethal Attraction is the fourth novel in the series "Forever in a Day" featuring the males in the O'Rourke family. In an Irish family with a tradition of law enforcement service, Grady is a little untraditional, disappearing for long periods of time in his role of SWAT Team medic.  Grady roams the world, physically extracting people at risk or held hostage. The identity of his employers is a bit murky, but he does have expensive toys at his command.

Sabrina Matthews is a lifelong friend of Grady, and the story opens as she is speaking at the ground breaking ceremony for a new pediatric wing at the hospital. The construction is made possible by a bequest from her late grandfather. Since Sabrina is a Child Life Specialist, she is speaking rather than her physician father who is also on staff at the hospital.

Sabrina’s only disappointment during the ceremony is that again Grady has not shown up. He has been gone for more than six months, no one having heard from him. Afterwards, Sabrina is confronted at home by two men in black demanding that she relinquish the package her grandfather sent the day he died.

Denying that she received anything, the government hit men raise their weapons and shoot. Sabrina comes to in Grady's arms. It seems he had drawn her name as an assignment and arrived by helicopter just in time to kill the shooters. She had passed out from a blow on her head received when she fell against the door. Grady takes her to his houseboat because he knows she is now at risk, but why? In the midst of this he dispatches his friend Alex, an FBI, agent, to clean up the scene. Incredibly, Alex arrives to find no dead bodies, no blood, and no DNA.

At the hospital the next day, Grady and Sabrina see emergency response people bringing in SWAT team personnel, cops and firemen who have been injured.  As the gurneys fly past Sabrina she recognizes the rare condition of toxic epidermal necrolysis also known as TEN. Quickly, the hospital realizes this strain is viral and contagious.

All personal time spent between Grady and Sabrina focuses on the reality of their relationship. He refuses commitment of any kind believing he is unworthy, and Sabrina refuses to give up on the man who was her childhood friend, her teenage confidant and her adult love. Much time is spent hashing and rehashing his feelings of unworthiness and his daily duels with death.

Character development in Lethal Attraction is excellent; the plot structure is very complex and although not unique, is certainly uncommon. The ambitious plot does seem better suited to a four hundred page novel.

Grady performs physical acts of rescue that are within the expertise of Batman or Superman. The story starts fast with an unrelenting pace and the romance between Sabrina and Grady is very well done. However, some scene changes are so abrupt that it is hard to follow the action and the heroic acts bringing resolution truly defy the imagination.

--Thea Davis


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