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By William Bernhardt
Ballantine Books, January 25, 2005 ($25.95)
Reviewed by Susan Johnson
Some days it just does not pay to get out of the bed. Susan Pulaski, a detective for the Las Vegas police department is having one of those days, heck it looks like it may be one of those years.
Susan knows she has a slight drinking problem, but when she wakes up in an enforced rehab, she learns she has attacked a man at a bar, been fired from the department, had her home foreclosed on, and the teenaged niece she was caring for has been turned over to children's services. Susan realizes that perhaps her drinking problem is a bit more serious.
While Susan struggles to get back on her feet she turns to her former boss in an attempt to gain back her job. She soon finds herself hired as a consultant to help find a serial killer who is patterning his murders after the stories of famed novelist Edgar Allan Poe.
Her boss has a 26 year old autistic son who displays a talent for solving the complicated puzzles the killer leaves behind. Susan is in a race with the devil to find the killer while battling her own demons.
How refreshing to have a heroine that is not quite perfect. In fact a heroine that is all too human. I rooted for Susan and at times wanted to slap her silly. I also enjoyed the reference to Edgar Allan Poe as I was quite the Poe fan in my early teens. A wonderful read with all the required twists and turns.
William Bernhard is a best-selling author of many novels. He has twice won the Oklahoma Book Award for best fiction and in 2000 received the Louise Cobb distinguished author award. Bernhardt is a former trail attorney who lives in Tulsa with his wife and three children.
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