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Fade to Red
Linda Castillo
Berkley
ISBN: 0425196577
May 2004
Romanctic Suspense

Lindsey Metcalf is a survivor. She survived a childhood of nightmares, one she escaped as soon as she was old enough. Her escape was not without guilt though for she left her sister behind to the fate that she herself was running from. Now years later Lindsey is filled with guilt from the past and vows to protect her younger sister the way she couldn't when she was younger. Living in different cities Lindsey doesn't see her sister as often as she'd like but when a strange phone call from Traci leaves more questions than answers, Lindsey decides to fly out to Seattle when she's unable to reach her sister and no one seems to know where she is. It's like she's disappeared off the face of the earth.

She arrives in Seattle only to find out things are even more sinister than she could ever imagined after hiring ex-cop Michael Striker, who's up on assault charges and weeks away from prison himself. He's the only person that will help her, though. They both embark on a dangerous, eerie investigation that turns up chilling evidence as to what happened to Traci and a side of Traci that Lindsey is shockingly confronted with. A Traci that she doesn't even know. As they uncover the secret life her sister was living they also uncover an eerie, twisted, frightening world beyond their imagination, even to a hardened cop like Michael Striker.

Ms. Castillo pulls not punches with FADE TO RED. This is a story of chilling proportions, going deep into the dark world of porno, abuse and serial killings. I zipped through this book in record time because of the compelling storyline, dark though it was, and the rich romance that only she can partner with a book of such suspense. Her research into child abuse was so dead on that I have to commend her on handling it with such accuracy. This book touched me all the more for her portrayal of Lindsey. The hero Michael Striker was larger than life, as sharp as glass, as are most of Ms. Castillo's heroes, however Michael had a softer side to him that I found refreshing, though I've always loved all her heroes. I found him to be more vulnerable. If you love a book packed with suspense, danger and yes even on the thriller side then FADE TO RED is for you. Add wonderful characters and a touching love story between two strong people who are survivors then this is a not-to-be-missed book. I say this every time I read a book by Ms. Castillo but it still holds true, by far one of the best books I've read this year, from a reader who does not normally read romantic suspense. There's one exception. Linda Castillo.

Barb Hoeter, May 2004

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