This thriller has just the right mix of suspense, intrigue, and murder, topped off with a little romance to make it sizzle. Pierce Quincy, hard-boiled FBI agent, and Rainie Conner, ex-cop turned P.I., team up to catch the perpetrator of several ingenious murders. The psychopath staged the death of Quincy 's daughter Amanda, then his ex-wife, and is now going after Quincy 's remaining daughter, Kimberly. Kate Burton's ingenious narration pits sweet women and tough cops against stone cold psychopathic killer. Burton keeps up the heat as she seamlessly switches from romance to murder and back again, taunting the listener with every twist of the plot while Gardner dares you to guess the killer's identity and motives before Conner and Quincy do.
Gardner brings back the quirky team of FBI supervisory special agent Pierce Quincy and Portland private eye Rainie Conner in a fiendishly well choreographed dance of death. The reader knows from the outset (a seduction scene ending in vehicular homicide) that someone has set out to systematically murder FBI profiler Quincy's loved ones. The question is not why, since Quincy has tracked down many killers, but who. Specifically, who would have the resources of time, money, and psychological acumen to devise and carry out such a sadistic campaign? After the first death, Quincy calls upon Conner to investigate; the plot moves to the clock of the killer's agenda. The weak points of Gardner 's writing are his dialogue and characterization: Conner's overly snappy banter and her hardbitten personality are both overdone. But Gardner knows procedure, FBI behavioral science, and the details of such newly minted crimes as identity theft. Not deep but harrowing. Connie Fletcher
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