Karen Harper’s 50th: an Alaskan Thriller

“Down River,” by Karen Harper. Mira Books. 388 pages. $7.99.

Part-time Neapolitan Karen Harper has published fifty novels (several as Caryn Cameron) beginning in 1982. Many of her titles are historical romances such as “The First Princess of Wales.” She also writes contemporary suspense novels, like “Dark Angle” and “Down to the Bone,” as well as historical mysteries. Her most significant achievement may well be the nine-part Queen Elizabeth I Mystery Series that concluded a few years back with the “The Hooded Hawke.” Ms. Harper continues to explore the Tudor world with the brand-new “The Queen’s Governess.” And for those who missed it in hardback, her well-received “”Mistress Shakespeare” was just released in trade paperback. Whatever the genre, this nonstop writer provides perfectly crafted settings that allow readers to trust in the worlds she creates. “If I have setting,” Harper asserts, “everything else seems to follow.” Such is the case with her latest contemporary romantic thriller, “Down River.”

Lisa Vaughn does not understand how her husband-to-be, Fort Lauderdale law partner Mitch Braxton, could have abandoned his career for a new life in the wilds of Alaska running a lodge. Mitch seems to have made the decision without considering Lisa’s needs; in effect, he abandoned her as well. Of course, he sees things differently. Now the law firm they both have worked for has chosen that lodge as the site of a retreat designed to assess three candidates, one of whom will be elevated to senior partner. Which one will prevail? How will Lisa and Mitch deal with the unfinished business of their failed relationship?

To see the entire review, as published in the Naples Florida Weekly for February 11-17, 2010, go get a copy, purchase an online subscription, or click here Florida Weekly – Karen Harper for free access on February 25. Also appears in the February 24-March 2 edition of the Fort Myers Florida Weekly.

Readers and aspiring writers can enjoy Karen Harper’s workshop on “Setting as Character,” the lead-off session of the Naples Authors and Books Festival, on April 10 at the Naples Center, Florida Gulf Coast University. Information about the Festival is available at www.authorsandbooksfestival.org.

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