After I Dream

Before I Sleep

Cowboy Comes Home

The Crimson Code

Holiday Heroes

The Hunted
Involuntary Daddy

A January Chill

Mistletoe Kisses

Snow in September

A Soldier's Homecoming

Under Suspicion

The Unexpected Hero

When I Wake

With Malice

The Man From Nowhere
by Rachel Lee
(SRS #1595 $4.99, PG) ISBN 0-373-27665-3
Accountant Trish Devlin has returned to her birthplace in Conard County, Wyoming to work in the new computer chip assembly facility in the area. As the novel opens she is starting her vacation. It does not promise to be carefree since Trish is uneasy about an inventory discrepancy that she discovered and reported to the CFO. The fact that she has received no response from him increases her anxiety.

Skittish about this, she then notices a stranger on a park bench each night around midnight who stares at her house for 20 minutes and then leaves. The town is small and strangers are rare enough to finally drive Trish to see Sheriff Gage Dalton.

The advantages of small town living are obvious as Gage responds in a way that would be foreign to a large city dweller. He immediately checks the man out and finds him to be Grant Wolfe, possessing a California driver's license and a tremendous credit rating.

Somewhat mollified, Trish decides to confront the man directly. Gradually she discovers that he is precognitive about disasters and death. His wife and child were killed in an airplane accident that he dreamed about prior to its occurrence and he blames himself for permitting it to happen. Abandoning his very successful business with directions that his interest be sold, he has spent the year or so since their deaths wandering throughout the US.

Happening upon Conard County, the precognition returns and he sees a man leaving a bar around midnight, walking to Trish's home, entering it, and murdering her. His park bench appearance is all he can think of to do in the way of guarding her. Nightly, when the time of the supposed death passes, he returns to his motel. To save the stranger he now knows as Trish is something he feels he must do in atonement for his failure to act before.

This is not a typical circumstance of meeting for an immediate attraction and initiation of a romance, nonetheless it slowly evolves as Gage, Grant and Trish try and figure out who the stranger might be and who, if anyone, is his employer.

Rachel Lee relies on past Conard County novels for descriptions of setting and old well known haunts such as Maud's and Mahoneys. The author has character development down to a fine art and setting them within her carefully developed Conard County transmits to fans a sense of the familiar and comfortable. Additionally Lee's well known ability for credible interaction of characters with appropriate dialog adds as well to her story telling.

However, the plot line and evolvement of the Trish and Grant's relationship is all too predictable making for an average rating.

--Thea Davis

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