YES, THE RIVER KNOWS”In Dunham’s worthy sequel to Wishful Sinful (2004), attorney Tal Jefferson is still trying to escape her past—her flameout in the big city after losing a capital case and her tendency to bury her sorrows in a bottle. She’s back home in Wynnton, S.C., making a meager living and being watched over by her tough-as-nails office manager, June Atkins. But when Tal and childhood friend Travis Whitlock fish a severed head from the Wynnton River, Tal and June are thrown into a firestorm of racism, thievery and murder. The head, it turns out, belongs to June’s estranged husband. When a second body turns up near the Whitlock farm, both the authorities and vicious thieves with nothing to lose target Tal and June. Tal is a superb mix of hard edges and open wounds, a weary fighter trying to redeem herself whatever the cost. While Tal is sure she deserves no happy ending, readers will stick with the series to prove her wrong.”
YES, THE RIVER KNOWS”Tal is a likeable, real protagonist as she battles her demons and tries to put her life in order. The mystery is fast-paced and enthralling, with plenty of red herrings. The budding romance between Tal and Travis adds substance, especially when Tal suspects Travis in Darryl’s murder. “
WISHFUL SINFULThis intriguing, suspenseful debut explores life in a small Georgia town, as Tal Jefferson returns after a fall from grace. She was working at a high-profile Atlanta law firm when her incompetent defense of an innocent man resulted in a death sentence. Now Tal lives in the home she inherited from her grandmother and buries herself in the bottle.When an old acquaintance is accused of murdering her lover, Tal is asked to step in as her defense attorney. Crystal Walker insists she killed Trey Kinsale, but Tal thinks Crystal is hiding something to protect daughter Desiree.Tal begins dredging up old secrets to find the true culprit. Allegations that Trey was a blackmailer are intermingled with questions about Crystal’s and Desiree’s parentage. Tal’s quest for the truth leads her on a dangerous path, and as her life is threatened, she develops an unwitting attraction to prosecutor Owen Amos.Tal is a believable protagonist, a product of her Old South grandmother, who must exorcise demons from her past. Dunham’s view of small-town Southern life is credible and realistic. She carefully meshes good-old-boy ways with modern-day changes.