(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

As an assistant state attorney in Miami, Florida, Jilliane Hoffman had to organize cases that would not unravel in the courtroom. Her first fictional work is as carefully constructed as any good prosecution.

Chloe Larson, an attractive young law school graduate, had a bright future until the night she was raped and left maimed, both physically and emotionally. Terrified that her rapist would return, Chloe changed her name, altered her appearance, and moved to Miami.

Twelve years later, as C. J. Townsend, Chloe has established a reputation as an effective prosecutor. However, her hard-won composure is tested when she hears the voice of William Bantling, a suspect in a serial murder case, and recognizes it as that of her attacker. The statute of limitations prevents C. J. from prosecuting Bantling for the rape, but she intends to see him put away for the murders.

As this graphic thriller evolves into a courtroom drama, C. J. worries about legal technicalities that might free Bantling. She knows from his whispered taunts that he still wants to kill her. Although Special Agent Dominick Falconetti loves her, she does not dare tell him all that she knows, and it is only her visits to her psychiatrist that keep her from breaking down.

Even after Bantling is convicted, C. J. does not feel safe, for now she thinks someone else may be the serial killer. In a stunning climax, C. J. discovers the truth, saves her own life, and falls into the arms of her true love. Retribution is a brilliantly plotted thriller; it is also a convincing story of justice delayed, imperiled, and in some sense attained.