Title: To Die For
Author: Linda Howard
First published December 16, 2004
378 pages, Mass Market Paperback
ISBN: 9780345476258 (ISBN10: 0345476255)
Maggie Jameson has everything she ever wanted: a successful career as a bestselling author, a beautiful home, and a loving husband. But when she starts receiving threatening letters from a mysterious stalker, her perfect life begins to unravel.
Things take a deadly turn when Maggie’s assistant is found murdered, and Maggie realizes she may be the killer’s next victim. As the police investigate, Maggie strikes out on her own to uncover the truth behind the stalker’s identity.
But when she crosses paths with detective Jack Renner, she realizes that working together may be her only chance of survival. With the clock ticking and the body count rising, Maggie and Jack race to catch the killer before it’s too late.
About the Author
Meet Linda Howard, a best-selling American romance author known under the pen name Linda S. Howington.
She started writing stories for herself 21 years ago and eventually decided to submit a novel for publication. Her debut work was published by Silhouette in 1982, and it was a huge success.
She’s a proud charter member of the Romance Writers of America organization and was even honored with their Career Achievement Award in 2005.
When she’s not busy writing, Linda Howard resides in Gadsden, Alabama, where she lives with her husband, Gary F. Howington, and two adorable golden retrievers.
She’s also a proud stepmother of three grown children and a doting grandmother to her three grandchildren.
To Die For by Linda Howard is a gripping work of romantic fiction that will leave readers on the edge of their seats. Published in 2004, Howard’s novel is a perfect representation of a romantic suspense novel that is full of drama, suspense, paranoia, and passion.
Howard is an accomplished author with over fifty books to her name, and her expertise in the romantic suspense genre shines through in this book. To Die For’s plot follows Blair Mallory, a successful fitness instructor, who is stalked and subsequently attacked by an unknown assailant.
Mallory survives the attack but suddenly finds herself at the center of a police investigation. This stressful period in her life is complicated by the arrival of police detective, Wyatt Bloodsworth, on the scene.
Despite their initial frosty relationship, Mallory and Bloodsworth eventually develop a romantic interest in each other, which complicates matters as the investigation intensifies. Howard achieves an excellent balance between Mallory’s romantic interests, her business and personal concerns, and the ongoing investigation.
These elements are further complemented by the setting of the book in Louisville, Kentucky, which is used effectively to ground the story and give it a sense of place. The dialogue is sharp, witty and, in some cases, intense, revealing the character’s varied emotions and their motivations effectively.
Howard’s writing style is engaging and elegant while maintaining a page-turning pace. The characters are beautifully crafted, and Miller’s character arc is particularly impressive.
Bloodsworth is the perfect foil for Miller and creates a well-rounded and complex relationship that drives the story. The author’s strength lies in her ability to create a distinctive sense of atmosphere and ambiance, which is palpable throughout the book.
However, the book does have some limitations. While the story is well-plotted, the resolution of the central mystery feels underwhelming and rushed.
Some may find the dialogue overly dramatic at times, and the romance storyline could have been further developed to create a more profound emotional impact. Overall, To Die For is an excellent addition to Linda Howard’s oeuvre, particularly for readers who enjoy romantic suspense novels.
Despite the book’s limitations, the finely crafted story, richly drawn characters, and masterful sense of pacing make for an enticing read. This is a book that will keep readers engaged from beginning to end and is not one to be missed.