The Long Hot Summer

A Younger Woman

The Right Side of the Law
by Wendy Rosnau
(Silh. Int. Mom. #1110, $4.50, PG) ISBN 0-373-27180-8
The Right Side of the Law continues the lives of characters introduced in Rosnauís A Younger Woman who reside in the coastal town of Algiers, Louisiana. The slave trading that was highlighted in the first book continues as well.

Kristen Maland and her small daughter are trapped on a small island off the coast of Belize. Her husband, Salva, is both physically and mentally abusive to her. Adding to these problems is the fact that Kristen is apparently the victim of some form of traumatic amnesia and can not remember when she even met her husband. He has also convinced her she was a fugitive from justice at that time and that he is providing sanctuary.

Kristen decides she can take no more and one night steals a sailboat and escapes with her daughter. Having eluded Salva, she decides to head to Algiers to locate a man known as Blu Dufray. She hopes that he can help her find out who she really is, and how she lost her memory.

Blu hasnít changed from the first book. He is a cleverly created character who has a super tough veneer with a soft heart. He runs his deceased fatherís shipping fleet and has kept it going in the past with money obtained by ďstrong-armingĒ reluctant debtors of loan sharks. Blu and Kristen meet, and he is not quite persuaded she is telling the truth. She manages to best him and escape, which fans Bluís interest.

Using his underworld sources, Blu begins to piece together a picture of Kristenís past. The attraction between them ignites, and the full texture of Kristenís character emerges. The romance although predictable, is steamy and consistent with the plot.

Wendy Rosnau has written a fast moving but creatively paced novel, set in an appealing environment with extremely likeable characters. The story would not move nearly as well without her deft characterization of the multitude of secondary characters.

One of the best things about the book is that although it is a sequel, it stands alone. In many respects it is better done than the first book, in part because the reader does not have to suspend disbelief to the degree required in reading the prequel.

--Thea Davis

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