Gussin’s latest thriller centers upon Laura Nelson, was who raped seven years earlier in Shadow of Death. Now a successful thoracic surgeon at a Tampa Bay hospital trying to balance the needs of five children and a career, it’s no wonder she feels husband Steve, anchorman for the Channel 8 evening news and herself have been living separate lives for years. Still, it came as a shock to come home late one night to find Steve and his co-anchor, the lovely Kim Connor wrapped around each other. Devastated, Laura demands a separation, something her egotistical husband cannot accept. In a snowball effect, Steve loses his job and begins blaming Laura for everything that has gone wrong in his life. Emptying their joint bank account, Steve abducts the children and that is only the beginning of Laura’s nightmare as she immediately becomes the prime suspect when Kim is discovered murdered in Steve’s apartment. Kim’s abusive boyfriend Frank has strong ties with the mob and news of her affair with Steve will make him appear weak unless he takes steps to prevent it, steps that will put several lives in the crosshairs.
Steve makes a most convincing slime as he steals their money, the kids, allows Laura to take a major fall and generally thinks only of himself. Aided by a strong support system of family, friends and old college colleagues Laura manages to hold her life together in the face on mounting pressure including the deteriorating health of son Patrick. Laura’s convenient, hefty stash of cash is a bit too contrived to be believed yet takes little away from this tense, fast paced mystery that manages to neatly tie several ends together by the conclusion.