Review of THE NIGHT IN QUESTION by Harper Allen
Harlequin Intrigue #680, September 2002
Julia Tennant spent two years in jail, convicted of killing her husband and three other men with a bomb. Now she's free, on a legal technicality. But FBI agent Max Ross will do whatever it takes to keep Julia from seizing her daughter and becoming a fugitive. Except, when he's with Julia, he starts to wonder whether he put the right person in jail. Could he have made a mistake--been led into a false conviction?
Author Harper Allen does a fine job delivering the emotional message of her story. Julia has emerged from prison a different woman from the weak person who went in. She's stronger, tougher, but still capable of love--and blessed with a psychic bond to her daughter despite the distance and the years that separate them. Max has never forgiven himself for the death of his wife and unborn son--a son he denies ever existed. Julia's mother/child bond tears at him at the same time as he sees it for something he can never have. Allen's dream sequences add texture to the story.
Severe research problems weaken the intrigue plot. If Julia had been freed due to a flawed search warrent, the FBI would be doing everything it could to prepare for a new trial--second trials for the same crime are barred only in cases of an innocent verdict, not the case here. The idea that Julia's sister-in-law would be admitted into the witness protection program to protect her from Julia (who is in prison) is unrealistic. Witness protection is expensive and wouldn't be offered in cases like this.
Romance readers who don't quibble over legal matters and focus on the emotional details will find THE NIGHT IN QUESTION to be a rewarding read.
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