Sunday, March 12, 2006

Final Scream, by Lisa Jackson

(pb; 2005)

From the back cover:

“As white-hot flames sear the dark night, a killer waits in the trees, watching the mill burn, listening for the screams – the only proof that justice has finally begun for the sins of long ago.

“For journalist Cassidy Buchanan, this inferno is a living nightmare: a reminder of the horrible, mysterious fire that destroyed her wealthy family seventeen years ago – and of Brig McKenzie, the handsome hellraiser accused of setting the blaze. That tragic crime has never been solved, and already the whispers have begun in Prosperity, Oregon: Another fire, more deaths, and one common denominator – Cassidy herself.

“Cassidy came home to Prosperity to put the past behind her, but it seems the past isn’t finished with Cassidy. Someone doesn’t want her to uncover the chilling truth... someone who has killed before and will kill again...”


Peyton Place meets a Harlequin romance with a firebug-killer in the mix. That’s what Jackson’s Final Scream (originally titled Intimacies) amounts to.

Fortunately, Jackson is a skilled, descriptive writer who keeps the sex, the town secrets/scandals and the sometimes-effective twists bubbling at a steady rate, in this reader-hooking potboiler.

Many readers might see many of the “secrets” and twists coming long before Jackson reveals them, but this is still entertaining, in a junk-food-for-the-mind kind of way: it’s perfect for a lazy, hot chocolate-sipping afternoon.

Ultimately this a romantic read, with malicious undercurrents. Worth your time, if you don’t expect literary greatness.

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