Here we go again. Sorrel Janes, the protagonist of Lonna Enox’s Striking Blind, is in trouble again. She has abandoned her high-profile job as a television crime reporter in Houston, changed her name, entered witness protection, and moved to the small town of Saddle Gap, New Mexico, all to escape trouble. But as her boyfriend in Saddle Gap, the handsome hunk Chris Reed says to her, “Trouble follows you.”
Now a part-time newspaper photographer who runs a gift shop, Sorrel accepts an assignment to visit a wilderness area where her editor has gotten wind of what might make a good story. It turns out that the bound corpse of a man killed by rattlesnake bites has been found in a cave, and one of the items on his person is a barely recognizable publicity photo of Sorrel taken ten years earlier when she was a television personality named Staci Lee Jameson.
The discovery of the photograph might seem very worrisome, but Sorrel refuses to take it too seriously. When a box with a rattlesnake inside turns up in a filing drawer at her gift shop, she dismisses it as a kid’s prank. Next, she and Will, a college student who’s doing an internship at the newspaper, make a night visit to the rugged hillside below the cave where the snake-bitten victim was found, and they have to duck and run from rifle shots that land all around them. She’s worried, but she tries to pass it off by suggesting that the rifleman was probably a poacher who wanted to chase them away.
Further troublesome events follow—a phone call in which a man’s voice addresses her as “Staci,” her name in her former life, a threatening email sent to Will, and an old barn on her boyfriend’s ranch is burned to the ground. Throughout these untoward incidents Sorrel displays a somewhat puzzling failure to disclose key facts to people who might help her figure out what’s going on. Nevertheless, her many friends, only a few of whom know about her secret past, the rest being simply good folk she’s met in Saddle Gap, help to sustain her. Episodes evoking her warm relations with these friends fill in the corners of the novel when Sorrel’s not actively being threatened by an unknown enemy. The end result is a story that will hold the reader’s interest from start to finish.