by Diana Palmer
Category: Fiction / Mystery
304 pages; ISBN: 0373770413
Rating: 8/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner
HQN, Jul 2005, $16.95, 304 pp.
In 1997 in Chenocetah, North Carolina, Native American cultural anthropologist Phoebe Keller, curator of the Chenocetah Museum, receives a call from a claimant saying he found a Neanderthal skeleton on the reservation. She is skeptical because a development dispute is brewing but before Phoebe can arrange testing of the alleged prehistoric remains, the person who called her is murdered with his body left inside a cave. FBI Agent Jeremiah Cortez leads the investigation.
As a college senior three years ago Jeremiah felt a deep attraction to Phoebe that she reciprocated. However, he broke her heart as both went on with their respective lives. As they work together on the investigation, they fall in love even while the danger mounts from those who want to hide the entire truth.
This is a terrific romantic suspense using a Native American background to enhance the plot. The lead sleuths make a fine team though both struggle with the ardent simmering desire for the other; their relationship seems like a throwback to a simpler romance novel yet is extremely complex as expected from fully developed protagonists. The who-done-it is cleverly designed to keep the audience alert although a twist late in the tale seems off kilter. Still readers will appreciate Diana Palmer’s strong police procedural contemporary romance.
Buy Before Sunrise at amazon.com