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Sunday, December 30, 2007

Review: Lethal Memoirs

Lethal Memoirs
by Lori Derby Bingley

As senior editor of a major publishing house, April Matthews has often read books about murder and mayhem. However, when her brother is accused of murder, her mother goes missing, and an anonymous manuscript describes in detail an event she spent years trying to hide, she is stunned to realize that the man who killed her father is now after her and her family.

Caleb McKinley is the arrogant and ambitious assistant DA, and is determined to prosecute April’s brother for murder. When he finds the manuscript describing what happened all those years ago, he is forced to take matters into his own hands. Problem is, once April’s in his arms, he finds it hard to believe she could be capable of anything but love. Could he be wrong?

This full-length suspense/romance novel is set in busy, present-day Seattle, but events that happened years ago color the lives of many of the characters. The manuscript April Matthews receives proves to be Lethal Memoirs of her family’s past. This manuscript, along with a brutal killing and the arrest of her brother Aaron for the killing, sets the fast-paced, heart-pounding action in motion.

The lives of the many characters become so entangled, I found myself reading fast as possible for fear some of them would get strangled in the entanglement before I could get back to the. Suspense builds steadily as the subtle unraveling of the intriguing plot takes place.

As April tries to clear her brother Aaron of the murder charge, she encounters the ambitious, prosecutor Caleb McKinley ADA, who is bent on sending Aaron to prison for the murder. She doesn’t want to like him and certainly doesn’t trust him, yet she is drawn to him physically and emotionally more than she ever was to her now-dead husband, Victor.

As the complications pile up along with the dead bodies, April comes to realize the manuscript she received is tied to the events now happening that involve her brother and her mother, Abigail, as well as herself. It forces her to confront long-buried memories of a traumatic even that happened when she was just a child.

Caleb, using all his abilities, which are many, also uses his connections with law enforcement and every other source he can think of as he strives to protect April while he finds the truth about Aaron and the many killings. April objects to his high-handed ways that she feels are keeping her from clearing her brother’s name.

Only when Caleb and April begin to work together do they find the thread that is a constant in the Matthew family’s lives and are able to unravel the web that has been so subtly and patiently woven around them.

As I zipped along from one chapter to the next, I came to know each of the many characters and, at times, grieved for them and the choices they made.

This story held me in its grip to the very end.

reviewed by Camellia