Beach book of the week
New York City book editor-with-the-Midas-touch Maris Matherly-Reed is desperate to find hot new writers. Trawling through the slush pile of unsolicited manuscripts, she finds one—but comes to wish she hadn't. The intriguing novel within the novel is by a mysterious writer named P.M.E. who gives no address or phone number and doesn't seem to want to be found. But Matherly-Reed kisses her husband, a reformed playboy, goodbye and tracks her new discovery to the tiny island of St. Anne off Georgia's coast. There she finds Parker M. Evans, an embittered but strangely magnetic figure crippled by a boating accident. He turns out to be even more complicated than she had imagined.
Brown's perfectly plotted tale unfolds quickly. It was no accident that Evans's story wound up on Matherly-Reed's desk: It wasn't business, it was personal. What looked like reticence from the writer was really part of his plan to lure her into his web of revenge against the man who sentenced him to life in a wheelchair 14 years before—a man Matherly-Reed knows very well. Disabled but dashing, Evans literally seduces her with his prose. But there's more than love on his mind, and Brown slowly reveals why with a clever trail of clues. (Warner Books, $25.95)
Bottom Line: Sin-tillating suspense