Southern Lights

Danielle Steel, Author . Delacorte $28 (326p) ISBN 978-0-385-34028-1

A veteran of exploring wealthy family dynamics, Steel now flirts with the thriller, introducing two familiar fixtures, the serial killer and the strong single female attorney determined to get him convicted. Unfortunately, her focus quickly shifts away from New York ADA Alexa Hamilton and her conflict with rapist-murderer Luke Quentin to Alexa's 17-year-old daughter, Savannah, and her relationship with her father, Tom Beaumont, who broke Alexa's heart when he divorced her to remarry his first wife. After Savannah begins receiving threatening letters sent from Luke or an associate, Alexa asks Tom to provide Savannah a haven, which he does over his wife's objections. The visit helps Savannah grow closer to her dad and stepfamily; it also gives Alexa, on weekend visits, an opportunity to heal in classic Steel style, but the resulting courtroom drama feels rushed and inexpert. Thriller fans will be disappointed with all the family bonding, though Steel's many readers will, of course, devour this. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 09/07/2009
Release date: 10/01/2009
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Compact Disc - 978-1-4692-9664-7
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Hardcover - 324 pages - 978-0-552-16025-4
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