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By Richard Montanari

Ballantine Books, February 15, 2005 ($24.95)
ISBN: 0-345-47095-8

Reviewed by Susan Johnson

Jessie Balzaro has worked hard for her place in life. She has recently been promoted to the homicide division, is raising her three-year-old daughter alone and is ready for almost anything. Anything that is but her first homicide case.

A serial killer is stalking young Catholic girls. The killer arranges each victim in strange ways, leaving them in odd places allobviously clues to who he is and why he is doing these things.

Jessie's new partnerKevin Bryne has ghosts of his own, a past that has left him with almost physic visions and an addiction for the pain killer Vicodin. Can the two of them catchand stop this killer before he reaches his grand finale?

Add the subplots of Jessie's cheating ex-husband, also a cop, her wonderful and supportive family, Bryne's vigilante mode and deaf teenage daughter and a reporter who always seems to be in the right place at the wrong time.

Richard Montari's writing style varies from section to section, from telling the cops' point of view which is generally straight on, to the killer's view which appears almost gothic at times. Disconcerting to this reader but not enough to spoil the breathtaking ending.

Other titles by this author include:

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