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by Betsy Thornton
St Martin's Minotaur, October 2006
288 pages
ISBN: 0312357591

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Popular English professor Jackson Williams and his second wife Jenny are not a happy couple. They've been married for years but are bored with each other. Jenny is interested in exercise and healthy eating and Jackson is interested in writing poetry and teaching his college students. The last thing Jackson wants to do is to listen to Jenny talk about health but Jenny needs attention and feels that Jackson just isn't giving her any.

It seems like all of Cochise County, Arizona knows about their problems, so when Jenny is killed in a car accident and the investigation proves that she was murdered it isn't a surprise when Jackson is arrested for the crime. But the Williams' next-door neighbor, Ruth Norton and her 11-year old son Tyler know that there's no way that Jackson murdered his wife. In addition, Tyler has some secret information about Jenny's murder, but is afraid to tell anyone.

It's over a decade since Jackson has seen his adult daughter Mara, from his first marriage. When Mara arrives in town, she joins forces with Ruth, Tyler, an ex-big-city lawyer Stuart Ross, and Ross's investigator George Maynard to prove Jackson is innocent of the murder and try to find who really killed Jenny and why.

A WHOLE NEW LIFE by Betsy Thornton is the newest novel in the Chloe Newcombe series. Chloe is a victim's advocate and is usually the main character in these books, but not in this one. Chloe only makes two brief appearances here because this story belongs to Jackson and his friends.

I've read quite a few installments in this series and like the others, this book shows author Betsy Thornton to be a remarkable writer. Her books are filled with interesting and different characters who all live in Cochise County, Arizona. A WHOLE NEW LIFE is not quite a cozy, but along with the other books in this series, it takes the readers back to the same town in Arizona where the same list of characters come into play.

Thornton writes a great murder mystery with likeable and believable characters. Definitely pick up A WHOLE NEW LIFE. All of the books in this series are great stand alones and you'll be doing yourself a great justice in reading anything by Betsy Thornton.

Reviewed by Sharon Katz, February 2007

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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