|With more than 40 books to her credit during her 20-year career, Linda Lael Miller has made a name for herself in romance. Despite this fact, Donít Look Now is the first of her books Iíve read in more than 10 years. After reading it, I canít help but wonder what Iíve been missing.
When Donít Look Now starts, defense attorney Clare Westbrook has a few problems. Sheís being followed by reporters, thanks to a client who was acquitted of drunk driving ó ďI won an acquittal on the proverbial technicality,Ē she explains ó but who subsequently killed four people, including himself, after drinking and driving again.
And thatís not all. Clareís boss is murdered, which brings her back in contact with cop Tony Sonterra, her former lover. Her job as a defense attorney caused conflict in their relationship, and the drunk driving case led to their eventual split. As if this werenít enough, Clare has custody of Emma, her sisterís daughter, and she learns that Emmaís father is being released from jail and wants to see Emma again. Since Clare believes he killed her sister, she is reluctant to let him play any part in Emmaís life. As the story continues, itís clear that Clare is the focus of the violence. The question is who wants to kill her and why?
Told in first-person narrative, Donít Look Now is more than 400 pages long but moves at a fast pace. Clare is an engaging heroine with a wry sense of humor, although thatís more evident in the beginning of the novel. It starts with the first sentence: ďI didnít kill Harvey Kredd; somebody beat me to it.Ē
This book succeeds on a number of levels. Miller skillfully weaves interconnected subplots and offers several viable suspects. At times the plot requires considerable suspense of disbelief, particularly as the body count climbs, but I was won over by the memorable characters and excellent pacing.
Although I was engrossed in the story, Tony Sonterra is the one who really won me over. Heís passionate yet protective, gentle with both Clare and Emma. Some male characters would sound macho and overbearing when saying, ďI know what you need, and Iím going to give it to you.Ē When Sonterra says it to Clare, he is expressing a combination of desire and sweetness thatís completely irresistible.
The only disappointment about Donít Look Now is that the romance takes a back seat to the suspense. The story also ends somewhat abruptly, but Iíve discovered that Claire and Tony will be featured in two more books. The ending makes more sense in that context, and Iíll be there for the next installment.