By Linda Morelli
Port Town Publishing, 2005
Author's Webpage: http://www.lindamorelli.us/pages/884012/index.htm
Contact Reviewer: email@example.com
Rating: 5 of 5
Romantic Mystery Offers Literary Elements, Sound Psychology
Reviewed by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, award-winning author of This is the Place and Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered, Tracings, and The Frugal Book Promoter: How to Do What Your Publisher Won't
Only careful study of the craft of genre writing can produce suspense coupled with sexual tension the way Linda Morelli does it. Her newest book of suspenseful romance tops this author's other works. Her fan base will not want to miss Lani's Challenge and others will want to sample this one so they can add this author to their list of favorites.
Morelli not only has a knack for her genre, she has a way with characterization and an eye for crafting scene. An example: In one chapter, Lani, her new, hunky partner, and the town's medical examiner scrutinize the more, ahhh, grizzly aspects of their case over hamburgers and tossed salads--the meals become metaphors for the crime. The parallels here are subtle but they made me smile and I couldn't get the details out of my head.
Morelli also knows how to use a ticking clock as well as the best screenwriters. Garrett, Lani's reluctant love interest, is habitually poky; waiting for him keeps a reader interested through that all-important first chapter.
I would like to see Morelli use her talent for exploring feelings to better advantage. At times, in order to keep the plot rolling along, she misses some possibilities for nuance. Once she explores that aspect of her storytelling, she will be on her way across that fine line where great mass market books become literary successes, too. Then again, maybe she doesn't care to reach for that portion of the reading public. As it is, Lani's Challenge is a perfect diversion.
Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s first novel, This is the Place, has won eight awards. This literary novel has been called a “near romance.” Harkening, a collection of stories, explores the notion that fiction and truth are not so very different; it has won three awards . Learn more at: http://www.tlt.com/authors/carolynhowardjohnson.htm