AFTER CAROLINE by Kay Hooper

AFTER CAROLINE

KIRKUS REVIEW

 Paperback veteran Hooper comes through with thrills, chills, and plenty of romance in her second hardcover (after Amanda, 1995), this time with an energetic--if formulaic--murder mystery with a clever twist. One summer evening Joanna Flynn's car spins out of control; miraculously, she survives without a scratch. But minutes later, before she's removed from the wreckage, her foot comes in contact with a fallen power line and she's electrocuted. Again, although her heart briefly stops, she survives. Then, on the same night as her two near-death experiences, Joanna has a vivid and distressing dream. She's by the ocean. There is a colorful carousel horse, a sense of urgency, a painting on an easel, a sign with the name of a town: Cliffside. She keeps having the dream. Conveniently, Joanna is a research librarian, and it doesn't take her long to uncover an eerie coincidence. In Cliffside, Oregon, 3,000 miles from Joanna's home, Caroline Mckenna, a woman exactly Joanna's age, died in a car accident on the same day of Joanna's accident. Stranger still, the picture in the obituary suggests that Caroline could have been Joanna's twin sister. Without further ado, she leaves Atlanta for Cliffside, where she takes temporary residence in The Inn, the town's only hotel, with the intention of figuring out what connection there is--if any--between Caroline's accident and her own brush with death. Since she so closely resembles a recently deceased (and prominent) citizen, she's the subject of considerable speculation and gossip; the ruggedly handsome Sheriff Griffin Cavanaugh takes a particular interest in her. Sure enough, just as Joanna suspected, Cliffside has plenty of secrets, and the circumstances surrounding Caroline's death are highly suspicious. Together with the sheriff, the spirited Joanna sets out to vindicate Caroline, along the way finding more than she ever bargained for. Nothing groundbreaking here, but Joanna is a likably quirky heroine, and the suspense is sustained admirably right up to the very end.

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-553-09948-5
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Bantam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 1996




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