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The Widow    by Carla Neggers order for
by Carla Neggers
Order:  USA  Can
Mira, 2007 (2007)
* *   Reviewed by Belle Dessler

Seven years ago, Abigail Browning had just set out on her honeymoon. As a blushing bride, she had the rest of her life to look forward to when the fairy tale came to an abrupt and violent end. On the fourth day of her honeymoon, she was attacked at her husband's home in what the police deemed a random act of violence. Abigail's husband, Chris, seemed to know who the culprit was, but he set out to find the attacker on his own before telling Abigail of his suspicions. The next morning, he was found dead from a single gunshot to the head.

Abigail, now a successful homicide detective, has never been able to put the past behind her. Chris's unsolved murder still haunts her, and despite the therapy and years of grieving, she hasn't been able to move on. When she receives an anonymous phone call on the day of her seventh wedding anniversary telling her to return to the scene of the crime if she wants answers, she knows she has to follow ever lead, no matter how unlikely. Once there, Abigail reconnects with an old friend of Chris's, Owen Garrison, the first man to inform her of her husband's death. As their feelings for each other develop, the mysteries surrounding that fateful night begin to unravel. But can Abigail and Owen stop a killer before they become the next victims?

The Widow is a fairly typical romantic suspense novel featuring many of the elements we've come to expect from the genre: a murder, a rich hero, a grieving widow, and an island setting. There is nothing new here, but the strength of the book lies in Neggers' ability to bring the reader into the story. The setting is lovingly detailed, and the main characters' motivations are rock solid. Unfortunately, some of the secondary characters aren't nearly as well developed, and the multitude of names that fill the page - especially in the opening chapters - can prove confusing. Still, this is an enjoyable read for those who like their romantic suspense as traditional as possible.

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