Flower Power Emerge from the darkness into the light of Sunflower (Simon ∧ Schuster, $22, 0684837676) by Martha Powers just don't expect to leave suspense and terror far behind. Sheila Brady is a single mom who's moved to the small Wisconsin town of River Oaks to escape the dangers of urban policework. But the community, which prides itself on its annual Sunflower festival celebrating the major local agribusiness, harbors a dangerous killer who's selected Sheila as his next victim.

Martha Powers weaves a taut and gripping thriller, portraying the everyday challenges of a single mom dating again and dealing with male colleagues in the small town police force. Sunflower is an enervating, disturbing, and ennobling story that portrays all too clearly the dark secrets which can lurk in the most placid of small towns.

Sandy Huseby writes and reviews from her homes in Fargo, North Dakota, and Nevis, Minnesota. She is online at Shuseby@aol.com

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