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by Karen Wiesner and Chris Spindler
Quiet Storm Books, October 2000
304 pages
ISBN: 0974408441

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Pete Shasta and Danny Vincent are life-long friends and partners in the same police department in Falcon's Bend, Wisconsin. The small, 8,000-resident community could never be prepared for the series of events that commence when Teresa, an exotic dancer, decides to walk home from work.

Teresa works at Danse de Minuit, a 'gentlemen's club' newly-established within the past year in the small conservative town. The club is run by a somewhat sleazy entrepreneur who calls himself Andre Trelawney. Andre, sporting a phony French accent, oozes charm, yet there is a cold steely manner to him that his dancers know very well. Andre, his wife Melody, her twin sister Cherry and the other dancers, including Teresa, are the only employees of the club other than Roy Ormond, bouncer and watchdog.

When Danny and Pete get a call that a body has been found in the park, they find a beautiful young woman, dressed provocatively, lying dead of strangulation. 'Young' is the key word for the cops can't believe she was of legal age, let alone dancing in a strip joint. When the police confront Andre, Roy and the other women at the club, they are amazed at the lack of cooperation and the sense they get that all of the dancers are afraid to speak out of turn and rely unnaturally on Andre. None of them have drivers' licenses, or own cars and they all live together with Andre and his wife.

Most of the book revolves around the dancers and their unusual lifestyles. As the police investigate they can't find any background on the group, they all seemed to spring to life two or three years ago and no one is forthcoming about their past. That they all have had abuse in their life is obvious from meeting them on these pages.

At first I was not sympathetic towards any of the characters. I thought the women were just plain stupid and that Andre was certainly no man I would find interesting. As for Pete and Danny, I thought Pete was a total wimp. Danny, who was supposed to be a lady's man, was OK. But the characters did grow on me and I became very interested in the mystery as it progressed.

There was a lot of suspense and in spite of the many characters, the authors kept all those balls in the air. At the end I was rooting for the main characters to come through and also for them to find some happiness. I would point out there is quite a bit of sleaze and sexuality, which didn't bother me, but should be a caution for some readers.

The authors are a good team, the book flowed well and the dialog (except for sleazy Andre) was well written. I believe that Andre was meant to annoy the reader and he did, oh he did!

On the whole, it was a good book, I would read another in the series, but I have to say there was nothing unique about the setting and I'd hope the authors, if they continue to keep the series in Wisconsin, would add some more local color.

Reviewed by Lorraine Gelly, May 2004

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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