NC Literary Hall of Fame



Behind the Mask by Renee Canter Johnson

The Wild Rose Press
$16.99, paperback / $5.99, 3-book
ISBN: 978-1-5092-1354-2
March, 2017
Fiction: Suspense / Romance
Available from


He took a breath and continued, keeping his voice as calm as he could manage. “You are in hospital after being fished out of the canal, signora. We feared you had been under too long to survive.” Having sensed emotion might try to creep in, he silently congratulated himself on his ability to keep his tone stoic.

“Canal?” she asked, after taking another long sip of the cool water.

“Do you recall what you were doing out on so dangerous a night?”

“Why was it dangerous?” She pressed her lips together, squishing the ointment into the crevices.

“The fog, signora. It was very thick right before you fell into the canal. Most people do not take risks in Venice during such low visibility.” There was a suggestion of culpability in his words that even he heard as they escaped him. His rawness was affecting his ability to remain objective.

“Venice?” Surprise rose in her voice. “Venice, Italy?”

“Yes, signora, you are in Venice, Italy.”

She looked off to the right, cocked her head to one side, and winced. “What am I doing in Venice?”

Who is the lady pulled from a Venetian canal with a wound to her head in addition to oxygen deprivation? Even she doesn’t seem to know, and the ball gown and period undergarments she was wearing give no clues.

With a Venetian mask dropped by the woman before she fell into the canal his only clue, Dr. Luca Viale sets out to discover not only the identity of the patient in his hospital with a memory shattering head injury, but also that of her attacker, risking his position at the esteemed Public Hospital in Venice, Italy Ospedale Civile di Venezia, and his heart to a woman who may never be his to love.

Dr. Luca Viale is determined to find out her identity. The bruises on her body appear to come from different times, convincing him that her situation was no accident.

Can he restore her memory before another attempt is made on her life? Time is running out and his growing attraction to her is beginning to cause problems in both his personal and professional life.

Renee Canter Johnson is the author of Behind The Mask, Herald Angels, Acquisition, and The Haunting of William Gray, all published by The Wild Rose Press. She lives in North Carolina with her husband Tony, and two very spoiled German shepherds named Hansel and Gretel.

Renee was a visiting writer in residence at Noepe Center for Literary Arts on Martha's Vineyard in October of 2014 and 2015, and her Young Adult work-in-progress was selected as one of ten novels for University of Iowa’s Novel Writing Intensive. She has attended writing retreats in Italy and France. Bonjour Paris, Storyhouse, and Study Abroad have featured her articles and/or essays, and she maintains two blogs: for travel and random insights, and, which features her journey through writing, editing, and publishing.

Learn more about Renee Canter Johnson from these sources:

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