Edge of the Moon by Rebecca York
(Berkley, $5.99, PG-13) ISBN 0-645-19125-7
In Edge of the Moon, Rebecca York writes about a contemporary America just like the one you and I live in, with only a few, little…well, maybe not so little…paranormal quirks. Although those quirks are vital to her story, they are all the easier to believe in because they are few and because they are grounded in a realistic suburban setting.

Jack Thornton describes himself thusly,”’I’m not a glory hound. I’m just a working stiff detective…’” from Montgomery County, Maryland. He was working on a possible domestic murder case when his captain pulled him off and sent him off to interview a woman who called in a missing person. This is the fourth missing person report in a relatively short period of time, and the captain has a hunch that they are related.

Kathryn Reynolds designs advertising brochures, working out of the second floor apartment in her house. She rents out the first floor apartment to Heather DeYoung. Heather is her friend as well as her tenant, so when the weekend is over and Heather hasn’t come home, Kathryn starts to worry and finally calls the police. Her initial contact with the police is routine, but then Captain Granger sends Jack Thornton to investigate more thoroughly. Kathryn opens the door to Jack, and a lightening strike of lust arcs between them.

I’ve read many a romance where the author has her lovers feel the heat the first time they meet…not that easy to make believable. In Edge of the Moon, Ms. York pulls it off. Why? Because an otherworldly, incorporeal being named Ayindral needs Jack and Kathryn working together to help him stave off a magician who wants to enslave him. Ayindral created the surge of lust that Kathryn and Jack experienced. Worked for me.

Jack and Kathryn fight their attraction, Jack by questioning Kathryn as though he suspects she was involved in Heather’s disappearance. Unbeknownst to Kathryn, she was the reason Simon Gwynne took Heather – he really wanted the red-haired Kathryn but had already abducted a red head for one of his sacrifices. That put Kathryn off-limits; Simon didn’t want any sort of pattern to his kidnappings. Nothing must interfere with his capture of Ayindral. In fact, his ritual sacrifice of Heather comes very, very close to succeeding…and might have worked, had not Ayindral broken Simon’s concentration at the crucial moment by showing him Kathryn and Jack locked in an embrace.

What follows is a chess game in which Jack tries to solve the mystery of Heather’s disappearance, while Simon seeks to eliminate both Kathryn and Jack. Ayindral is weakened by Simon’s efforts to capture him and is only sporadically able to affect the chase. When he does give Kathryn a hint as to where Simon has buried his victims, Jack calls on his friend, Ross Martin, to help him find the bodies.

The appearance of a werewolf on the scene – Ross Martin – gave me the hint that Edge of the Moon might be part of a series. Ross and his wife, Megan, had obviously been the subjects of a previous book. Ms. York handled their reappearance skillfully, providing enough information to make a reader unfamiliar with the earlier book comfortable. Even more important to the story, Jack’s friendship with a werewolf made his acceptance of both Simon Glynn’s powers and the existence of Ayindral more believable.

Ms. York spins her tale adroitly, achieving a nice balance between Kathryn and Jack’s evolving romance and their battle to stay one step ahead of Simon. However, to enjoy their story, you should be able to believe in incorporeal beings, evil magicians, and werewolves, at least for the duration of the book. If you can, you may well find Edge of the Moon a pleasure.

--Nancy J. Silberstein

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