In this explosive thriller, a New York City-based book editor travels to a Southern island to meet a mysterious author -- but she's about to uncover the truth about a carefully concealed crime.
Maris Matherly-Reed is a renowned New York book editor, the daughter of a publisher and the wife of bestselling author Noah Reed. It's not often that an unsolicited submission tantalizes her, but a new manuscript with blockbuster potential inspires her to search for the elusive author.
On an obscure island off the Georgia coast, amid the ruins of an eerie cotton plantation, she finds Parker Evans, a man determined to conceal his identity as well as his past. Working with him chapter by chapter, Maris is riveted by his tale of two friends who charter a boat with a young woman for a night of revelry . . . an excursion from which only one person returns.
As the story unfolds, Maris becomes convinced it is more than just fiction. Disturbed about her growing attraction to Parker and gripped by a chilling suspicion about his novel's characters, she searches for the hidden truth about a crime committed decades ago. Then someone close to her dies while an evil presence looms even closer: a man who will use anyone -- and anything -- to get what he wants . . .
Style and form are usually the least of prolific bestselling romance/thriller writer Brown's concerns, but in her latest effort she takes on an unusual challenge, setting out to craft a novel within a novel within a novel. The onion begins to peel when editor Maris Matherly-Reed plucks a prologue from the slush pile and finds herself hooked by the steamy prose. The author has furthermore titillated her by breaking the rules: no SASE, no cover letter. Maris knows only that his initials are P.M.E. and he lives on St. Anne Island in Georgia. (How does she know P.M.E. is a man? She... knows.) Gutsy, idealistic, deliciously sexy, Maris is married to philandering sociopath Noah Reed, who runs Matherly Press with Maris and her father, Daniel, last of the silver-maned gentleman publishers. As for P(arker) M(ackensie) E(vans), he's a bitter, wheelchair-bound, first-time novelist or is he? Is he using Maris to avenge himself against Noah, or does he love her madly or can the answer be all of the above? Cutting back and forth between the bernovel and Parker's autobiographical novel about a purloined novel, Brown stages one dramatic scene after another. The narrative voices don't change much (although the typefaces do), but Brown's loyal legions frankly won't give a damn.