Under Suspicion
by Rachel Lee, contemporary (2001)
Warner, $6.99, ISBN 0-446-60962-5

I should like this book. For a romantic suspense, it doesn't concentrate on the heroine's virginity or frigid nature to the exclusion of decent suspense, like some of the so-called romantic suspense books I've been reading recently. Unfortunately, Under Suspicion has too much technical details to the exclusion of any decent attempt at romance between the main characters Anna Lundgren and Gil Garcia. There should be a balance surely. There's no reason to go all dry on me, right? This is not a technical manual we are talking about here.

Gil and his cop buddy Clarence Tebbins are called in to investigate a stolen Mexican dagger and a murdered guard from a "Mysteries of The Maya" exhibit run by museum curator Anna. Anna finds herself implicated as the prime suspect - the fake dagger replacing the real Pocal Dagger was first found in her office. Soon Gil and she realize she's not guilty, and they spend pages after pages looking at computer screens and wondering how the thief got in. If there is a supernatural curse attached to the Pocal Dagger, the story doesn't even exploit the angle well.

Of course, Anna and Gil are stock characters with the obligatory baggage fresh-from-the-mass-manufacture-mill romantic suspense novel characters must have. They aren't too bad, but to watch them going on and on like your most boring History teacher about computer technicalities and police procedures...

The really over-the-top demented evil villain provides some comic relief though, although I doubt this is the author's intention. Under Suspicion is like a bad James Bond plot after it has been wrung dry of any campy elements by a misguided film editor. Sober, serious, and without much fun factor or romance to liven things up, Under Suspicion puts me under the influence of snooze soon enough.

Rating: 68

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