Thursday, April 28, 2011

Thicker Than Water

Thicker Than Water by Maggie Shayne

It was called a haven for runaway teens. In truth, it was a nightmare, one that ended in a fiery violence sixteen years ago. Or so its survivors believed…

Syracuse news anchor Julie Jones is afraid. Her long-dead past was resurrected when a blackmailer threatened to expose secrets that could destroy her. Then the man was found dead—his throat cut with a knife from Julie’s own kitchen. Now a new, faceless enemy wants more than money. This time Julie stands to lose the most precious thing of all—her teenaged daughter, Dawn.

Julie finds herself with one unlikely ally, Sean MacKenzie. A journalist with a flair for the sensational, Sean covers the worst humanity has to offer. Julie Jones I hiding something that terrifies her, and he’s determined to find out what. He just can’t decide whether his goal is to expose her or save her.

Julie will do anything to protect her daughter. But someone else is watching, willing to do whatever it takes to avenge a past that cannot be forgotten.

--Thicker Than Water by Maggie Shayne, Copyright ©2003 by Margaret Benson, published by Mira Books

My Review

Blackmail is an ugly thing. Even uglier when you’re the one being blackmailed.

Julie Jones, respected Syracuse television news anchor, knows that fact all too well. But she’s had enough. She’s not going to pay her blackmailer any more, no matter what happens. But when she steps out of the bathroom of her blackmailer’s hotel room to deliver the bad news, she finds him dead on the floor. Someone managed to sneak into the room while she was in the bathroom and stabbed Harry Blackwood to death.

She makes her escape but in her haste, dropped her keys. She bluffs her way past the cops and manages to find a way to make the appearance of her keys plausible. But do they, or her new co-anchor, Sean MacKenzie believe her?

Sean and Julie have a special kind of chemistry between them, one that works well on the television screen but not so well in real life. Or does it? Sean’s attracted to Julie despite what his instincts are telling him. They’re telling him the lady has something to hide, and being the reporter he is, he wants to dig and find the answers. She’s connected to the dead man and he’s going to find out what that connection is.

Meanwhile, they have another story to work on, a human interest-type regarding renown seer and psychic Nathan Z. Julie’s daughter, Dawn, idolizes the seer and goes with Julie and Sean to a taping of one of his shows. Julie is shocked to realize Nathan Z is actually Mordecai Young, the leader of a “cult” she had briefly been a member of. Young died years earlier when the compound was raided by the FBI, or so she and everyone else in the world thought. But he managed to survive and there’s something he wants.

His daughter.

Julie’s daughter.

Julie would move heaven and earth to protect Dawn from Young. Can she trust Sean enough to accept his help when she is still suspicious of his true motives?

I give this story THREE STARS.

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