Judith McNaught





Pocket Books, November 2003 paperback
Reviewed by Sissy Jacobson

Contemporary Romantic Suspense

When Leigh Kendall and Logan Manning married they had love, ambition, and eight hundred dollars between them. After thirteen years, Leigh is an internationally known Broadway star, and Logan heads his own thriving architectural firm. Logan's drive for success has caused them to slowly drift apart, but planning a country retreat, and looking for property on the weekends helped bring them closer…for a while.

Wanting Leigh to see the property he found to build on, Logan coaxes her into driving up to meet him after her Sunday matinee performance. Leaving the city later than she planned, Leigh drives into a blizzard as darkness falls. A speeding car hits her from behind, causing her Mercedes to go off the road and tumble down an embankment. She manages to escape just before it goes up in flames and plunges into a quarry filled with water. Leigh wakes up in a hospital two days later. Her husband is missing, and NYPD Detectives Shrader and Samantha Littleton are waiting to question her. When their boss, NYPD Commissioner Trumanti, learns Logan is missing, and Michael Valente attended a party Saturday night at the Mannings' Upper East Side apartment, he offers the services of the NYPD in searching for Logan Manning.

Michael Valente has tried to leave his far from idealistic teenage years behind. He graduated from college with a MBA and is a very successful businessman. He has been arrested by the NYPD and FBI and charged with various crimes over the years, but never convicted. The media always splashes his supposed crimes in headlines, but buries or ignores any evidence of his innocence. This time Trumanti is determined to get something on Valente before the Feds can horn in. Why? What do they have against Valente? Is this some sort of vendetta?

When Michael Valente offers Leigh his help in spite of being repeatedly subjected to humiliation by police, she overcomes her reservations about him. She isn't aware that he has been in love with her for fourteen years. She doesn't even realize he is the same man who once saved her life. His name and appearance have changed so drastically, Leigh doesn't recognize him.

We have waited a long time for a new book by Judith McNaught, but SOMEONE TO WATCH OVER ME was well worth the wait. If you are a Judith McNaught fan, you'll be happy to learn her hero and heroine are loosely patterned after characters from previous novels: Matt Farrell and Meredith Brancroft of PARADISE, and Cole Harrison and Diana Foster of REMEMBER WHEN. She has also managed to weave nail biting suspense and a second romance into this story line. Ms. McNaught has written a complicated plot that kept me guessing to almost the very end. What happened to Logan Manning? Why is Trumanti so determined to nail Valente? The answers to both questions cause a surprising twist in the investigation.

If you have never read Judith McNaught, and you love a good romantic suspense, start with SOMEONE TO WATCH OVER ME. I highly recommend it. This multi-talented author writes contemporary and historical romances, and is equally good in both genres.


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