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|Mass Market Paperback||2002|
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By Julie Garwood
Published by Large Print Press on 2003-07-01
FICTION / Thrillers, FICTION / Romance / Contemporary
Avery Delaney was abandoned at three days old, and raised by her grandmother and beloved aunt, Carolyn. At ten, she saw her grandmother murdered before she herself was shot and left for dead. With the killer caught and serving a life sentence, Avery was drawn into a career in law and order. Her razor-sharp mind and ability to gather data and decipher evidence has made her an expert crime analyst for the FBI. Now she will have to use every one of those skills on a case that hits painfully close to home: her Aunt Carolyn has disappeared, lured by an assassin into an elaborate plot of madness and lethal vengeance.
Since KILLJOY is my first Julie Garwood novel, I can't say that I'm disappointed with her departure from historical romance. And I don't believe her old fans will be either. This second foray into the romantic mystery genre sees her gathering strength with her contemporary tales and promises to be a smashing success. She has a Sidney Sheldonesque way about her of putting together a page-turning story, with the plot twists popping up right at chapter's end, so you simply cannot put the book down until you're into the next. Well, you know what happens then. Right, another cliffhanger, and you're compelled to read on. Plus, many of her characters are classic: The spoiled villain who flies into a rage when the smallest thing goes wrong; the drunks falling on top of each other in a raggedy heap; a peach of a boss wrapped in a tyrant's clothing; or a bumbling pair of backwoods storekeepers, complete with flannel shirts and gold-capped teeth. Working one's way through the myriad clues turns out to be a great deal of fun, and readers are rewarded with some pretty darned good surprises too.
Ms. Garwood knows well how to build conflict. The bad guys are in no way subtle, bordering on being over-the-edge evil. The good guys sparkle. The clash between them is spectacular. A day spent reading KILLJOY is a day well spent.
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