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Don't Say A Word
Don't Say a Word
by Rita Herron
5 Hearts
Suspense Thrills, Courage, and the Redemptive Power of Love

Publisher: HQN (September 2007)
Rita Herron's DON'T SAY A WORD is a thrilling read that combines both elements of the genre of Romantic Suspense and adds a touch of the supernatural. The suspense twists and turns and keeps the reader guessing so that even the epilogue presents new surprising details. The hero and heroine struggle against darkness and demons, internal and external, and yet the chemistry between the two is so powerful that their struggle manifests the redemptive power of love.

Antwaun Dubois, the black sheep of his family, has been arrested for the murder of Kendra Yates. His brother Damon, an FBI agent and former member of the E-Team, a trained covert group of elite assassins, investigates the gruesome murder hoping to discover the serial killer and free his brother. His trail leads to a mysterious Jane Doe in a hospital. Her eerie resemblance to the victim and cutting edge medical technology complicate the case. Crystal, as she has been named, has amnesia and terrible injuries caused from a horrific fire and yet she might hold the secret to the case, a case that threatens to reveal the deadly dark secrets that Damon has held at bay since he left the E-team. As her memories emerge, can Crystal put together the pieces quickly enough to save herself from the madman? Whom can she trust when all those around her seem to want something from her? Is the passionate chemistry between her and Damon enough to survive both their inner secrets and the killer as he stalks new victims or will their love only put them at greater risk?

Rita Herron magnifies the level of romance and suspense in DON'T SAY A WORD through the hero's fight against some deep inner demons as he feels drawn to this woman --- so much that the desire to protect her encourages him to face those demons which he has tried very hard to repress previously. In addition, Crystal feels an inexplicable growing trust for Damon despite her amnesia and the forces putting her very life at risk. The suspense and the plot intricacies that emerge through the investigation, twisting and turning so that the suspense itself is a finely constructed, multi-leveled creation. Although fast-paced, DON'T SAY A WORD is not a simplistic easy-to-figure-out thriller but rather a carefully layered mystery whose details and interconnections only unfold as the last page is read. For suspense lovers, the surprises are thrilling!

In addition, Rita Herron develops important themes for our times that make this book expand beyond just a fun thrilling read. The chemistry and developing love between the hero and heroine is so strong, despite the darkness that threatens to engulf them, that the reader captures a glimpse of the redemptive power of love. This theme of love and redemption expands in ripples outward to other characters, not only in the Dubois family, but beyond. As several characters wrestle with their past secrets, Herron creates an idea of heroism includes an individual hero's possible shortcomings and experience. Even the minor characters of Lex and Esmerelda make this story unforgettable. Although labeled as heroes by the community of New Orleans, the Dubois men know that the label of hero too easily turns to condemnation when the public discovers the truth of the real men behind the label. In wrestling with the issues of heroism, Rita Herron has created a tribute to all the true heroes, the soldiers and emergency personnel, that encompasses not only the moments of triumph but the darkness and difficulty of their work. Although DON'T SAY A WORD has a darker element than some of her shorter works of romantic suspense, this novel heightens the dimension of redemption, romance and courage beyond that of her earlier works. As always, Rita Herron is a master at creating a landscape that becomes a character itself in the book. The scene and date of some of the last scenes of this book are no accident. Beautiful!

Rita Herron's DON'T SAY A WORD is the sequel to Say You Love Me, but is an excellent stand-alone story.

Reviewed by Merrimon, Merrimon Book Reviews

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