She was a dead ringer. Now she’s just dead. . . .
Blair Mallory lives the good life. She’s pretty, confident, and the owner of a thriving up-scale fitness center. But in the shadow of success, a troubled member of the club develops a strange fixation on Blair, imitating her style and dress. Matters take a darker turn when the look-alike is shot dead—and Blair witnesses the horror.
As the media speculates on the tawdry details of the homicide and pushes Blair into the harsh spotlight, she locks horns with police lieutenant Wyatt Bloodsworth. He wants to lead an investigation without interference, while Blair is determined to probe the dead woman’s life on her own. But when someone begins to menace Blair with mounting threats, Wyatt takes notice: Was this murder indeed a lethal case of mistaken identity–and was Blair the intended victim?
Howard brings her usual high level of intelligence and flair to her latest tale of romantic suspense (after Kiss Me While I Sleep). Successful health club owner Blair Mallory is the only witness when a troublemaking member gets shot behind her North Carolina gym. Since the killer may not realize that Blair hasn't seen his face, she needs police protection but her difficulties only escalate when Lt. Wyatt Bloodworth, with whom she had a short but intense relationship several years earlier, is assigned to the case. Still smarting from Wyatt's unexplained rejection, Blair resists his macho self-confidence; Wyatt in turn is irritated by her refusal to follow orders, even as he succumbs to her feisty charm and potent sexuality. Their investigations promptly reveal a major suspect, but the attacks on Blair continue even after the alleged killer is apprehended. As they consider a new array of possible murderers, the pair (aided and abetted by their colorful families) conduct a spirited battle of the sexes. Blair's chirpy asides on everything from underwear to men will wear on readers by the middle of the book, when the plot's momentum stalls. Still, Blair's surface fluffiness and underlying savvy make her an engaging narrator, and the book's witty Southern "take" on womanhood will amuse readers in the region and beyond.