By Nora Kelly
Poisoned Pen Press - April 2002
ISBN: 1590580141 - Hardcover

Reviewed by: Nancy Mehl for
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Professor Gillian Adams sells her home and moves to a flat in London with her lover, policeman Edward Gisborne. It's an adjustment - living with Edward and losing a house she loves. But these changes are only a herald of many unsettling things to come.

Gillian's visit to her longtime friend, Charlotte, leaves her worried. Charlotte is a tenuous shadow of the vibrant woman she once was. Abandoned as a child by her mother, she has also been deserted by the husband she adored, and feels discarded by her only child, Olivia, an up-and-coming actress. But Gillian sees clearly that the person who has betrayed Charlotte the most - is Charlotte. She hides from the world inside her closed-off, filthy house - waiting only for death. And death accommodates her. Gillian finds her friend lying lifeless at the bottom of the stairs in the back yard. Now, as the executrix of Charlotte's will, she must find a way to wrap up Charlotte's life - and bring a sense of peace to the daughter she left behind.

But bringing peace to Olivia may be difficult. A crazed fan named Kevin is stalking Olivia and she is terrified. The man is relentless - calling her, following her - and sending her flowers--always roses - until after Charlotte's death. He approaches Gillian at Charlotte's house, leaving another fragrant calling card for Olivia. Only this time, the flowers are lilies. What does it mean? Who is Kevin? And what does he really want?

Nora Kelly has brought her characters to life. Charlotte is poignant and real. Her pain is beautifully shared and her death is deeply felt. Gillian's confusion over the twists and turns in her own life, as well as her concern for her friends, is written in a way that is believable and moving.

HOT PURSUIT is a compelling read. It's more than a mystery - it's an experience. The richness of the characters are this novel's strength. The English touches make it absolutely charming. I love this book and highly recommend it.

Nancy Mehl is the author of Graven Images and Sinner's Song.

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