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Book Review: Midnight Rain by Holly Lisle

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Phoebe Rain is a reluctant heroine at best. Everything she's done in her life has been the result of trying to live up to someone else's ideals of what she should do with her life.

From her early years, though, she's been torn between science and the lure of telling fortunes with Tarot cards. Then she met and married Michael, a rich and powerful attorney who proceeded to make her life a living hell. She barely escaped with her life.

Later, after Michael tracked her down, he ended up killing two kids at a school where Phoebe taught before she was able to wrest the gun away and shoot him. She barely survived injuries that crippled her.

Even with Michael in a psychiatric hospital, a mental and physical vegetable, Phoebe hasn't felt safe. She's kept her life small, giving up teaching to make a threadbare existence as a fortune teller over a telephone hotline. Then, one night, Michael calls and tells her he's coming for her.

Next door to Phoebe, Dr. Alan McKerrie is struggling to get over the loss of his young daughter. He's cut himself off from the world, just putting in one day after another, seeking desperately for a reason to keep trying. One day, the ghost of his daughter appears to him and Phoebe. Chick, the daughter, wants Phoebe to tell Alan to get on with his life, but to do that, Alan must help save Phoebe from Michael. Are help and murderous intent reaching from beyond the grave?

Holly Lisle is a noted fantasy author who has since crossed over to romantic suspense. This is the first of four novels so far. While she continues to work in the fantasy field, she's obviously taking great strides in the romantic suspense market.

Midnight Rain delivers nail-biting intensity as the storyline weaves delicately back and forth between Phoebe and Alan. Each has strengths and weaknesses that alternately make them complement each other, then give them every reason to stay apart. The reasons Phoebe and Alan find to do what each of them does are suspenseful as well as realistic. This is what Dean Koontz delivered in his early years.

Although the novel reads quickly, especially toward the end, some of the middle parts will need patience. But the investment of time is well worth the effort.

Holly Lisle is going to be a romantic suspense author to read and watch. She's already made a definite mark in fantasy, but with Midnight Rain, she's striking gold in her newly chosen venue. Equal parts thriller, supernatural, and romance, Midnight Rain is a great beach or weekend read where the whole book can be simply consumed.

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