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    Review of I'M WATCHING YOU by Karen Rose

    Warner Forever, October 2005

    Assistant D.A. Kristen Mayhew has the best conviction rate in the Chicago D.A.'s office, but sometimes the cases just don't go right. Smart defense lawyers, bent jurors, or legal technicalities prevent conviction. Especially when it comes to rape cases, Kristen hates this--partly because of her own personal stake in that crime. Still, vigilante justice can't be right. When someone leaves evidence of revenge murders for Kristen--along with personal messages that let her know she's being watched, Kristen can only turn to the hunky cop, Detective Abe Reagan, for support.

    Most of Chicago seems enthralled and supportive of the vigilante attempting to rid the city of rapists and other criminals who escaped justice at the hands of the system. But a reporter sees Kristen's problems as a chance to make a name for herself and a rich businessman sees his son threatened by the vigilante. Certain that Kristen knows more about the vigilante than she's letting on, the businessman begins systematically striking back--at her.

    Having already lost one wife to criminals, Abe feels protective of Kristen. Kristen, as a rape victim, feels unable to connect with a man and damaged--especially since her religious father disowned her.

    Author Karen Rose won a RITA (Romance Writers of America's highest award for novels) for this well-written romantic suspense. Rose manages a balance between romance and suspense, but with a heavy tilt toward romance. I would have liked to see the balance tilt the other way as the romance plot was far less interesting than the suspense. On the suspense side, I thought Rose would do more with reporter Richardson, and I'd hoped that she would create some dimension to her characters.

    I'LL BE WATCHING YOU is an enjoyable quick read. For me, though, it was just a bit too much paint-by-the-numbers.

    Two Stars

    Reviewed 8/05/05

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