Ellipsis: A John Marshall Tanner Novel
Bodyguard to a glamorous, bestselling novelist?
It’s the last kind of case that San Francisco private investigator John Marshall Tanner would normally accept. But Chandelier Wells comes with a personal referral Tanner cannot refuse.
For all her money and fame, Chandelier is scared. Someone is sending anonymous notes: If you don’t stop, you will die! Stop what? She says she doesn’t know, and she has no time to find out before beginning the publicity tour for her new book, Shaloon.
Chandelier writes romantic suspense, but she takes on tough issues. Shaloon attacks the cosmetics industry, and next year’s book, just finished in manuscript, dissects the luxury cruise business. Could the research for her books have made her the kind of enemies who would wish her bodily harm?
Tanner’s inclined to think that the lady might exaggerate her peril, but when a car bomb explodes, leaving one person dead and another gravely injured, Tanner regrets he didn’t take Chandelier’s fears more seriously. She has annoyed many people over the years, but who would want her dead? As Tanner begins to probe Chandelier’s background, he discovers many potential suspects, including her ex-husband, a spurned lover, and a jealous writer who accuses Chandelier of plagiarism. Is one of them behind the car bomb, or is the answer even more complex and frightening?
Drawn into the bizarre life of a superstar author and an investigation that threatens to go full circle and bring back demons from Tanner’s past, Tanner must also deal with his own grief for a departed friend and his developing love for a very special assistant district attorney. His life is at a turning point. The future is vast and vitalizing. The present is poignant.
This is the 16th outing for Stephen Greenleaf's series hero, San Francisco PI John Marshall Tanner (Past Tense, Strawberry Sunday). In Ellipsis, Tanner signs on as bodyguard to a bestselling romance novelist. Chandelier Wells's connections to people Tanner loves persuade him to temper his dislike and protect her from the death threats she's been receiving as she prepares to embark on a book tour. At first Tanner doesn't take the threats very seriously; he's halfway convinced they're just a publicity stunt. But when a car bomb kills a former FBI agent who's been moonlighting as Wells's driver, Tanner gets serious in a hurry.
Suspects aren't in short supply; it seems that Wells has as many enemies as readers. Is the perp a deranged fan, a fellow writer who swears Chandelier plagiarized her work, a real estate mogul she dumped in an act of public humiliation, or an ex-husband who believes he's entitled to a share of her wealth? With Tanner on the case, the chase is on, in a smartly paced story that gives the reader a deeper look into Tanner's emotional complexities and capacities. Greenleaf is a master plotter, and Tanner gets more interesting with every adventure. --Jane Adams