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When the Storm Breaks    by Heather Lowell order for
When the Storm Breaks
by Heather Lowell
Order:  USA  Can
HarperTorch, 2003 (2003)
Paperback, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

Too busy to play the dating game, Claire Lambert takes her friend Afton's advice to sign up with 'Camelot Dating Service'. When Claire decides to brave a sudden rainstorm and walk home, she witnesses a brutal murder while cutting across a school yard . Terrified, she turns and runs, with the killer in hot pursuit. Claire escapes after suffering an injury and losing her ID, which the police quickly deduce has landed in the hands of the killer.

Detective Sean Richter is eager to talk to Claire. An investigator into Washington Cold Case files, he's been after this particular killer for a long time. If Claire had seen the murderer's face, it could break the case wide open. But it turns out that the blow to her head has left her with temporary amnesia. Sean sticks close to Claire and tries coaxing her into remembering anything about the horrible night.

The more time they spend together the more Sean and Claire are attracted to one another. They also understand that she could be the killer's next victim. Going on the assumption that the bad guy might be registered with Camelot Dating Service, Claire agrees to pose as bait in an effort to tip the killer's hand. Many tedious dates later they're no further ahead in identifying a possible suspect. Meanwhile the killer is relentlessly stalking Claire and only waits for the opportune moment to strike and silence her forever.

Though the story could have been pared down to improve the pacing, and despite a plot without surprises (relying on tried and true devices that border on cliché) When the Storm Breaks is fairly entertaining and the character development well done.

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