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Bleeding Heart (edition 2000)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0743422937, Mass Market Paperback)With eight Regency romances and one fairly well-received mystery/thriller, 1999's Sunflower, under her belt, Martha Powers returns with her second single-mom-saving-self-and-child-from-nameless-faceless-fiend page-turner, Bleeding Heart. And that's a good thing.
Following the untimely death of her philandering husband, Maggie Collier and her 8-year old son, Jake, trade the hubbub of Chicago for the idyll that is Delbrook, Wisconsin. Idyllic, yes, until the stabbing death of Jake's beloved grandpa, George, and the anything-but-idyllic suspicion that the murderer is a close friend of George's (and everyone else in town) who will kill again to keep from being unmasked as the aforementioned fiend, The Warrior. The photos George had passed around the poker table, shot by Jake at Delbrook's Renaissance Fair, plainly showed 4-year-old Tyler McKenzie, the latest in a string of The Warrior's kidnap victims. Hence George's demise and the likelihood that Maggie and Jake could be next.
The poker-playing chief of police and most of the other townspeople are sure the murder is the work of Tully Jackson, a homeless derelict seen crouching over George just moments after his ventilation. Maggie is not convinced, however, and with the help of Tyler's uncle Grant (a handsome young lawyer who had gotten a tip that Tyler had been spotted in Delbrook) and a trusted pair of aged and eccentric citizens, Maggie and Co. go about the business of solving the crime or crimes before it's too late.
It's stock characters meets plots-r-us and, mysteriously enough, a doozy of a read. Ms. Powers keeps it flowing nicely, accessorizes her off-the-rack cast to a fare-thee-well, and does a fine job of keeping the reader paging back and forth, rechecking names, dates and alibis because, after all, no Delbrooker, upstanding or otherwise, could have conceivably committed the heinous crimes revealed. And there's the fun of it: one of them did. --Michael Hudson
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:17:41 -0400)
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