RIVER ROAD. By Jayne Ann Krentz. G.P. Putnam's Sons. 336 pages. $26.95.

It's been quite a while since Jayne Ann Krentz released a present-day, non-paranormal romantic suspense novel.

Lucy Sheridan and Mason Fletcher knew each other as teens, when Fletcher saved Sheridan from the predatory attentions of a serial rapist. More than a decade later, they find the rapist's remains walled up in the fireplace of the home of Sheridan's aunt and her partner, who recently died in a car wreck.

After the discovery, trouble of the dangerous variety threatens Sheridan again.

"River Road" has all the classic elements of a strong, independent woman who finds herself in more trouble than she can handle alone and a stalwart man who wants to protect her. And, of course, they fall in love.

The book also has all the classic elements of a Krentz novel: solid writing, good story and believable characters. "River Road" might not quite reach "fantastic" status, but it's an enjoyable book, and Krentz fans will certainly welcome it.

Reviewer Carol Edwards is a freelance editor and farmer living in Marlboro County.