Spring Break in Key West leaves Jeanine with more than a hangover and a bad sunburn. While speeding drunkenly on an isolated stretch of beach road, she kills a man. The handsome police officer who is first on scene tells her the victim was a known drug dealer and that she shouldn't let her life be ruined by one unfortunate act. After he covers up the crime and disposes of the body, Peter and Jeanine become first lovers and then man and wife. Life in Key West is idyllic for Jeanine until she begins to suspect Peter is leading a secret life. Taking a clue from him, when she discovers she's pregnant, she runs away, creates a new identity and starts to build a new life in New York as Nina Bloom. After 19 years of hard work and well-guarded secrets, she's achieved success as an attorney and has provided her daughter with an education at an elite private school. On learning that an innocent man is about to be executed for crimes she knows he couldn't have committed in Key West, she puts not only her career, but her life, in jeopardy by returning to the scene of her original deceptions.
Patterson and Ledwidge turn the tranquil Key West of sun, sand and Hemingway worshipers into a sinister haven of serial killers, drug smugglers and police corruption. Nina may have felt anxiety as she rose to success in the gritty environment of New York City, but her real feelings of terror revolve around the beach town and handsome husband she left behind. The authors effectively convey the jarring impact of unspeakable evil emanating from beautiful people in a picturesque setting. The plot takes many turns before the final resolution, giving listeners the opportunity to try and try again to figure out motivation and outcome. Surprises abound.
Erika Davis provides just the right no-nonsense voice for Nina. A less adept narrator might make her whiny, but Davis keeps her strong but vulnerable. There are moral messages in this book, but they are presented subtly, without preachiness. Atonement, forgiveness, pay back and revenge are motivating forces for Nina and Peter, and how they go about satisfying those urges keeps the listener tuned in and guessing. This audio book is highly recommended for its heart-stopping thrills and intriguing story.
Now You See Her by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge
Read by Elaina Erika Davis
Hachette Audio, unabridged: 7.5 hours on 6 CDs