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by Jan Christensen
Quiet Storm, April 2004
228 pages
ISBN: 0974960837

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

It came as no great surprise to Sara when at the age of 10 she was told by her father that she was adopted. She had never felt that they were a family. She was told just the bare facts of her adoption. When her father Marsh died, Sara felt that she had to find the facts of her real parents. She felt that with only her mother Lucille she had little in life.

She attends a party given by her best friend Beth, and her doctor husband, Blinky. There she is made uncomfortable by a man who looks familiar and who keeps following her around. On leaving the party she stumbles on him dead on the staircase. She discovers that he is Harold Lundquist, her father, who has been looking for her.

Sara must find the answers to the mystery surrounding the murder of her father. This search leads to becoming acquainted with his eccentric inventor partner Ira, her half brother Kevin, and her father's second wife. She pressures her adopted mother for more details about her adoption, her birth mother and her relationship with Howard Lundquist, This results in startling revelations which explain much of their previous relationship.

Further complicating Sara's life is her roommate Eileen, who insists on redecorating their apartment every few months and has an unhappy sex life. Then there is Bernie Puntz, somewhat connected to the owners of the firm for which she works. He is harassing her.

Added to her worries is her best friend Beth. They have been friends since childhood. Now Beth who is married to a wealthy doctor, is stricken with an unknown illness which baffles a team of doctors and has been difficult to diagnose. Both women have to solve their mysteries: Sara the reason behind the murder of her father, and Beth the reason for her debilitating sickness.

This plot combines two separate mysteries which are blended together, keeping interest constant. The characters are believable. Sara is portrayed as a level-headed sensitive woman with a desire to get her life in order. The devotion between the two friends is heart-warming. The reader feels the frustration of Beth's search for the reason for her illness, hoping that it had nothing to do with the breast transplants for which her surgeon husband was responsible.

There are moments of humor throughout especially the experiences Sara has with telephone calls. How many of us have been frustrated by the voice mails routing calls with the 'press one', 'press two' with no human contact?

This is a great story having no explicit sex, no gratuitous violence and no adult language. It is a pleasant, easy read.

Reviewed by Barbara Buhrer, August 2004

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