Heaven is High-Kate Wilhelm

Heaven is High

Kate Wilhelm

St. Martin’s, Feb 2011, $24.99

ISBN: 9780312658601

After leaving her father’s high pressured legal firm, Barbara Holloway works out of her home in Eugene, Oregon handling minor legal problems for her neighbors.  Former pro football player Martin Owens and his wife Binnie come to her for help.  He insists Binnie who is mute was with her mother at sea when pirates kidnapped her mom and forced her into prostitution in Haiti.

When Binnie sees Martin, she swims to his boat and he hides her.  The Coast Guard was looking for her because the man who pimped for her mother is saying he is her father and wants her back. Barbara finds a paper in an item that links Binnie to her mother and in it Binnie’s background is explained.  The INS wants proof that Binnie is not a Haitian citizen and the man looking for her is not her father.  They consider deporting her back to Haiti.  Needing documents to prove she is a citizen of Belize, Barbara goes to Haiti and eludes a kidnapper who does not want her to go on to Belize.  DEA and drug cartel agents go after her too.  Barbara realizes even if she obtains proof, which looks nearly impossible, she still has to come home with her evidence while adversaries, including some busted out of jail, want her stopped at any cost.

Heaven is High reads more like a thriller than a whodunit as reader will have trouble trying to figure out the good guys from the bad guys.  The protagonist is similar to Joan Wilder in the movie Romancing the Stone as she goes from one peril to another with no respite in between her harrowing escapades; Barbara never expected an attorney’s quest in the Caribbean would be such a frightening and dangerous time like the one she has had.

Harriet Klausner

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