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Corpse Pose by Diana Killian

Publisher: Berkley Crime ISBN 978 9 425 22090 0

Reviewed by Karen Treanor, New Mystery Reader

If ever there were a first book that screamed “Series follows,” this is it. 

A J Alexander inherits a yoga studio and a few—quite a few—million dollars from her Aunt Di.  A J (Anna Jolie, but don’t ever call her that)  is having a bit of a hard time, having just been divorced by a husband who has discovered his feminine side with an FBI agent after ten years of trying to be a heterosexual husband.

A J is badly hurt.  Her life is complicated by the fact that she and Andy were business partners as well as marriage partners, and they have a cat, Lulu Mae, and a body of clients and shared property—so when Aunt Di is murdered and AJ finds that her aunt has left her a farm in rural New Jersey, it seems like the break she needs.  She will live in the house, and consider her options.

This isn’t as peaceful as she expects. First, she inherits Aunt Di’s large dog, Monster.  Then she is burgled, attacked, nearly run down by a hit and run driver, firebombed—in short, somebody’s out to get her.  Is it Lily, Di’s former business partner, who expected to inherit the studio?  Is it the former drug addict teen?  Or is it the young athlete who has a heavy secret to hide and a vested interest in Aunt Di’s death?  It could even be AJ’s ex-husband, who stands to inherit everything she now owns.

Aided and hindered alternately by her wacky mother, sometime-actress Elysia Alexander, a.k.a. “Easy Mason”, AJ turns up a few clues about people who had serious reasons to want Di dead.  One by one the suspects prove to have alibis, but just how cast-iron are they?

A throw-away line by the senior police officer on the case suddenly strikes a spark in AJ, and she realizes who the killer has to be.  Knowing is one thing, proving is another, and meanwhile Elysia may be in great danger from the killer, who was last seen heading her way.

This is a really enjoyable read with some great characters; I’ll be watching eagerly for the next in the series.




Island of Lost Girls by Jennifer McMahon

Publisher: Harper Paperbacks  ISBN-10: 0061445886

Reviewed by Stephanie Padilla, New Mystery Reader

When recent college graduate Rhonda Farr stops in at a local Vermont gas station hoping to see her decade’s long crush Peter, she’s instead shocked to find herself witnessing the abduction of a young girl by a person dressed as a large rabbit. And when her guilt at her lack of action to prevent the crime begins to get the best of her, she joins the small-town search for answers, even as she’s unofficially considered a suspect by some of the locals.  But the deeper she digs, the closer she comes to finding out what was behind the disappearance of her own best friend and her friend’s father years before, and the shocking revelations that tie the sins of the past to the present.

Alternating between the present and flashbacks of Rhonda and her friends from childhood, McMahon creates a poignant and heart-grabbing account of regret, hidden truths, and what it takes to face the two head-on.  And it’s her illuminating use of flashbacks into Rhonda’s past that is especially stirring, her presentation of a seemingly idyllic childhood that was anything but when looked at honestly in retrospect.  When adding this aspect with the suspense of who is actually behind the recent crime, you have a read that provides more than your everyday fare.  Well worth the time, this comes highly recommended.  



Bloodthirsty by Marshall Karp

Publisher:  MacAdam Cage  ISBN:  1-59692-2285

Reviewed by Susan Illis, New Mystery Reader

Having solved the high profile Familyland murders, Hollywood detectives Terry Biggs and Mike Lomax are offered $50,000 for the film rights by director Halsey Bates.  Bates sets up a meeting with financier Barry Gerber after a film opening.

When Gerber doesn’t show up for the opening or the meeting, no one is surprised; his predilections for young girls and cocaine are well-known.  When he turns up dead in someone’s trash can, Lomax and Biggs are most surprised that they had the luck to draw the case.

It soon becomes clear that the killer has an agenda, and Biggs and Lomax find the murders hitting close to home.  This isn’t a whodunit; the murderers are revealed in the first chapter of the book.  What is a mystery is the motive and whether Lomax and Biggs will manage to prevent more killings.

Even without reading the book jacket, it’s always easy to identify books written by screenwriters.  There’s more action, less description, and crisp dialogue.  Bloodthirsty is no exception.  The quips between Lomax and Biggs fly fast and furious, occasionally reminiscent of a Seinfeld episode; no one is that witty in real life.  Bloodthirsty is pure escapist entertainment.  A week later, the plot won’t be memorable, but you’ll have a lot of fun reading it.



The Cluttered Corpse by Mary Jane Maffini 

Publisher:  Berkley Prime Crime  ISBN:  978-0-425-22092-4

Reviewed by Anne K. Edwards, New Mystery Reader

If you can believe stuffed animals might be able to multiply, then you will definitely enjoy reading talented author Mary Jane Maffini’s tale about a house about to be overrun with them and the owner thinks her collection is reproducing.  Many, she has no memory of how they came to be included in the lot.

Charlotte Adams is consulted by Emmy Lou Rheinbeck about organizing her vast and growing collection of stuffed toys. And when Charlotte visits the woman, she sees that the house is indeed in the middle of a storage crisis.  She wonders if it is possible to get them under control and if the lady might be slightly mad when she insists they do multiply.

Whether you are a sloppy housekeeper or a neat freak or in between, this tale about a professional organizer who steps into a house and into a murder will prove a fun read.  A chance to peek into someone else’s closets and learn some of their secrets.

You’ll want to know why two young men get such a charge out of tormenting the lady with the collection, why her husband seems so unconcerned by the clutter and how one of the tormentors winds up dead at the bottom of the lady’s stairs.  While not a suspect in the evolving case, Charlotte must steer a careful path because the investigating officer, once a friend, is always ready to slap her in jail now.

Talented author Mary Jane Maffini has crafted a clever and fun tale about an amateur sleuth with an unusual occupation, one you will enjoy reading.  Red herrings and surprises await the reader as you join Charlotte in her investigation that draws her ever deeper into danger.  The well described settings and complexities of the plot make for a worthwhile read that will have you looking for other books by this imaginative author.

Enjoy.  I did.



French Pressed by Cleo Coyle

Publisher: Berkley  ISBN-10: 0425220494

Reviewed by Harvey Lau, New Mystery Reader

Clare Cosi, owner of a coffeehouse in Greenwich Village, New York, has her hands full managing her shop as well as keeping an eye on her daughter Joy, who has just landed a culinary internship at a well-known restaurant. Joy has caught the eye of the restaurant’s famous chef Tommy Keitel, who is married and many years Joy’s senior.  Clare  decides to work for Chef Keitel and provide coffee and desserts for the restaurant, just to stay close by her daughter Joy. After the murder of a young cook intern, a friend of Joy’s. Clare tries to protect her daughter at the same time as give Joy the leeway she needs to feel like a grown up. Joy however become the suspect in another murder involving the restaurant and Clare goes all out to try to save her daughter.

This is the sixth in the popular coffeehouse mystery series by Cleo Coyle. In this novel, we are caught up in the relationship between Clare and her daughter, an aspiring chef, and in the world of gourmet food, gourmet coffees, and the high-end restaurant business. An engaging novel that keeps the reader in suspense to the very end, French Pressed is well worth reading, not only for the plot but also for the tips on pairing good coffee and desserts.



The Various Haunts of Men by Susan Hill

Publisher: Overlook TP  ISBN-1590200278

Reviewed by Stephanie Padilla, New Mystery Reader

In the first of a three-part series featuring Lafferton, England's Inspector Simon Serrailler, Hill takes the reader through this idyllic countryside in a case that starts out with a missing woman.  And while at first the disappearance of this middle aged woman fails to set off major alarms, when yet another woman goes missing, the investigators begin to suspect that a great danger might exist in their small community.   Could a serial killer be living in their midst and, even more frightening, could it be someone familiar? 

Ironically, this first in what's touted as a "Simon Serrailler Mystery," features very little of this enigmatic detective, with his appearances being briefer than any other character in the book.  With that being said, Hill's fully-realized portrayals of the myriad of other inhabitants of this small village more than makes up for it.  Richly detailed and full of nuance, this compelling tale delves into the lives of these characters bit by bit, allowing each one to come slowly alive under her artistic touch.  And, of course, the plot itself is suspenseful and fully engaging, touching on subjects such as alternative forms of medicine and small-town living with intelligence and insight.  A hefty read, this 438 paged novel is as much of a study of absorbing characters as it is a mystery, and with its shocking finale, one that will leave readers hungry for the next.



Pursuit by Elizabeth Jennings

Publisher: Forever Books (Hatchette), ISBN  978 0 446 61891 5

Reviewed by Karen Treanor, New Mystery Reader

What would you do if you found someone murdering your father and you got shot while trying to save him?  You’d run for the police—but what if when you got there you discovered they were already seeking you to charge you with murder?

Charlotte Court is on the run, literally for her life.  Hijacking a friend’s car and patching up her own bullet wound as best she can, Charlotte takes off across country.  Her previous life of privilege and security is behind her; her beloved father is dead; and Robert, Haine, the man who wants to marry her as part of his takeover plan for Court Enterprises, has set a hired killer on her trail.

The only thing Charlotte has going for her is a legacy in Chicago, a house left to her by an aunt who liked to have a bit of ready cash around.  It takes many painful hours, but Charlotte drives to Chicago, gets into the house, finds the cache of cash and hits the road for Mexico.  On the way she nearly dies of complications of the bullet wound, but thanks to a bit of lateral thinking she gets access to antibiotics from a veterinary clinic, and survives

Using her friend’s passport she gets into Mexico, but has to find something to do to stay alive, because the money isn’t going to last forever.  A gifted artist, she finds a gallery owner who likes her work and starts displaying it. 

And she meets Matt Sanders, also battling physical pain and mental anguish.  The two are drawn together.  Matt insists that Charlotte learn to defend herself.  “If I’m alive, I’ll be there and I’ll stand for you, but I can’t guarantee I can be there forever,” he tells her.  So Charlotte learns to shoot, and shoot pretty well.  This comes in very handy later on when, through a most unlikely avenue that Charlotte would have foreseen if she’d had a bit more self-confidence, the hired killer tracks her down.

This is a nice mix of suspense and romance, and would be an excellent book to take on a boring plane trip (that would be most of them). 




Deception by Randy Alcorn

Publisher:  Multnomah Books  ISBN:  1601420994

Reviewed by Susan Illis, New Mystery Reader

Early in his investigation, Portland Detective Ollie Chandler suspects a member of his own department murdered philosophy professor William Palatine.  Disturbingly, evidence at the scene incriminates Ollie himself.  Having experienced his first blackout after a drinking binge the night of the murder, even Ollie can’t believe his own alibi.

In addition to dealing with his own demons—grief over his wife’s death, estrangement from his daughter Kendra, and uncertainty over his other daughter’s whereabouts—Ollie has to cope with an unwelcome shadow, Portland columnist Clarence Abernathy, who is doing a close-up of Portland’s police department, antagonizing Ollie with his probing questions and attempts to convert him to Christianity.  The cliché-spewing police chief is taking an uncommon interest in the case, and his colleagues resent Ollie’s suspicions that one of them is the murderer.  But which one of them is determined to make Ollie the next victim?

The murder of a fellow detective increases tension and suspicion, now directed at Ollie, who blacked out again and came to with the victim’s blood on his shirt.  Another detective’s confession and suicide seemingly close the case, but Ollie’s attempts to clean up loose ends reveal the true murderer and put Ollie’s life in jeopardy.

Deception represents two first for this reviewer:  the first book also reviewed by Chuck Norris, and the first blatantly Christian book.  Readers who don’t embrace evangelical Christianity should not reject this book out of hand.  The proselytizing bits are easy enough to skip over.

Surprisingly noir-ish, Deception is a tightly-woven story with a flawed but sympathetic hero whose chronically smart-aleck comments will keep readers smiling.




Gun Shy by Ben Rehder

Publisher:  St Martins Minotaur  ISBN: 0312357532

Reviewed by Anne K. Edwards, New Mystery Reader

If you like tongue in cheek stories, then Gun Shy by talented author Ben Rehder is for you.  If you are a mystery buff, a gun fancier, or just plain fiction lover there's something in this story to please you.

Satire on all sides in the dispute over gun ownership touches this tale and its characters in a read that will make you snort with laughter at some of the happenings and shake your head with despair over others.

The National Weapons Alliance headed by Dale Allen Stubbs is planning a huge rally on the ranch of country singer Mitch Campbell to kick off their backing for their own candidate for the governor of Texas.   But things never work as planned as they learn in this fun read. Mitch Campbell is a drug addict and this leads to big trouble.

To add to the singers problems, someone calls him to say they know who he really is.  Will Mitch be able to hold it together for the rally or will things be ruined by this and other circumstances?

A well told tale for the reader who enjoys something a bit different. A subject matter with arguments on both sides is presented in a way to make you give serious consideration and smile a lot while doing so.

Enjoy.  I did.



The Unquiet by John Connelly

Publisher: Pocket Star  ISBN-1416531388

Reviewed by Stephanie Padilla, New Mystery Reader

In his new title, Connelly brings back the tortured and dark Private Investigator Charlie Parker, a man who sees and feels a bit more than the rest of us and who is all the darker for it.  This time out he's hired by a woman whose father had disappeared years before under a dark cloud of suspicion of child abuse, a charge never proven or unproven.  And now the woman is being stalked by a dangerous man whose own daughter might just have been one of the victims.  So while searching for the truth, Parker will be forced to discover just how deep his own darkness goes and what it will cost him to continue fighting the good fight.

Connelly's latest just might be his most disturbing, with some readers possibly finding the theme of sexual child abuse and its aftereffects more distressing than they can handle.  But while there are very few light moments in this book, the substantial questions raised concerning justice and redemption are more than enough to make it worth your time.  And with this latest going a little deeper still into Parker's soul, Connelly provides even more incentive for fans to pick this one up.  Provocative, dark, and sometimes hard to get through, this is still a recommended read for those who are prepared to look at things in shades of grey-with the answers remaining as ambiguous in the end as they were in the beginning.   




Meeting Point by Roisin McAuley

Publisher: Harper Perennial   ISBN- 0060737913

Reviewed by Stephanie Padilla, New Mystery Reader

When Claire Watson is accidentally struck down by a handsome man in a convertible while vacationing in the South of France, she's not sure if she should be more grateful that her injuries are minor, or that she shares an immediate spark with the handsome culprit.  But it's not too much later that she begins to realize he is very familiar, having met him 10 years previously when he was suspected in his wife's untimely death, a case that she herself investigated.  And as their romance slowly buds, her attraction to him at first erasing her doubts of years before, it doesn't take long before suspicion begins to plague her once again, leading to her to resume her search for answers in a quest where nobody is to be trusted.

In this delightful and engaging read, McAuley takes the reader on a vividly detailed adventure through some glittering scenery filled with likable characters and unabated suspense.  And with plenty of red-herrings thrown in to keep the reader guessing, this is a fun-filled puzzle all the way through.  Charming and light-hearted, this makes for a great evening's entertainment, and one that will leave readers clamoring for more.             



Duplicity Dogged the Dachshund by Blaize Clement

Publisher:  Thomas Dunne Books  ISBN:  13:9780312340926

Reviewed by Anne K. Edwards, New Mystery Reader

A keeper!  Talented author Blaize Clement takes the reader to Siesta Key off the coast of Florida into a slower way of life, except when it comes to murder.

Pet sitter, Dixie Hemingway who is an ex-deputy sheriff also, enjoys her work until an ailing dachshund she is walking finds the body of a resident. The dead person is wealthy and heads a trust fund intended to benefit retiring circus folk.

His death leads to complications, one of which is that Dixie finds someone is trying to kill her. What link is there between the murder victim, the murderer and her? 

I'm pleased to recommend this book as one any mystery fan will enjoy. You can step into the setting of this tale and feel the ocean breeze with its salt tang and humidity. Your clothes will cling and you'll long for a dip in the cooler water of the sea.  A tourists' playground in summer, the pace on the Key slows to a relaxing speed when they leave and you'll have time to meet the residents of the key and wish you might stay past the last page of the book.

Enjoy.  I sure did.




The Woods by Harlan Coben

Publisher: Signet  ISBN-10: 0451221958

Reviewed by Stephanie Padilla, New Mystery Reader

Widower and single father Paul Copeland is no stranger to grief and loss, his first introduction to tragedy being the brutal murder of his sister, along with three other teens, 20 years previous at summer camp.  Now a county prosecutor in New Jersey, he still is haunted by his own culpability in the tragedy years before, along with the unanswered questions surrounding his mother's desertion that was part of the fall out; all remaining an elusive puzzle that he has yet to make sense of, and one he wishes he could forget.

But when a murdered body is found riddled with clues that all lead directly to Paul, he alone is the first to suspect that the dead man is closely linked to his past, and may in fact be one of the purported victims of that long ago night of tragedy.  And as he finally determines to get the answers to what really happened that night, he will be faced with the shocking revelations to those long held secrets, secrets that will put in doubt all he once loved and only thought he knew.

Having used all the positive adjectives that exist in the world of book reviewing for Coben's previous titles, being faced with reviewing yet another masterful and flawless outing from this guy is proving to be a challenge.  All too often it seems that authors who manage to maintain longevity in the publishing and commercial world also end up losing what made them unique in the first place, usually resorting to regurgitating what was successful before.  Not Coben.  As so many times before, he again does it like the first time- as if he's the guy who invented anticipation and is one of the only who actually knows what it means.



Creation in Death by J D Robb

Publisher: Berkley   ISBN 0425221024

Reviewed by Karen Treanor, New Mystery Reader

Eve Dallas is back and she's facing a cop's worst nightmare: a criminal from her past, whom she and Feeney failed to stop, has returned to terrorize New York in AD 2060. 

The criminal they tagged "The Groom" for his habit off leaving his victims wearing a silver ring, laid out on a white sheet, has come back to New York after nearly a decade away.  Dallas hasn't lost track of him, she's been hearing of other torture murders in Europe and South America that she knows must be his doing, but she never expected him to start his hideous work in her city again.

Chief Tibble makes Dallas the primary on the case, which causes friction with her old boss, Captain Feeney, now head of the Electronic Detection Division.  The previous unsolved murders have been eating away at Feeney like a cancer, and when Dallas makes a quantum leap toward the identification of the killer, Feeney loses it: there's a ding-dong battle that really hurts Dallas in that soft centre few people know she possesses.

The roots of the murderer's motives stretch far into the past, back to the Urban Wars which tore up much of society before Dallas was born, and records  of the time are scanty.  Luckily Dallas has not only the best EDD in the country to draw on, she also has her husband Roarke, a man richer than Bill Gates, handsomer than Pierce Brosnan, and clever as a barrel of monkeys.  They tease out the long-buried clues and begin to home in on the killer: but will it be in time to save the latest victim, whose life is being sliced away bit by bit?

The villain of the piece may well be Robb's nastiest invention yet; even for a die-hard Dallas fan like me, the 'grue factor' was a bit extreme.  All our old friends are here: Mavis, Trina, Summerset the cadaverous butler, Galahad the cat, the men and women of the NYPSD, plus a couple of new characters you'll find likable.  And of course the main supporting player, the New York City of the near future, is always there in all her sprawling, smelly, dysfunctional glory.



Glass Houses by Jane Haddam

Publisher: St. Martin's Minotaur  ISBN-10: 0312947488

Reviewed by Stephanie Padilla, New Mystery Reader

When Henry Tyder, the alcoholic son of one of Philadelphia's wealthiest families, confesses to the brutal slayings of several women whose bodies have been found in the city's alleys, authorities call in Gregor Demarkian, retired leader of the FBI's behavioral unit, to help investigate.  The question for Demarkian and authorities is how this addled alcoholic could have managed to pull off so many killings without being caught, the possibility of his guilt almost incomprehensible, and one which leads to the next question: if not him, then who?  

In this new outing featuring the Armenian-American investigator, Haddam returns to Philadelphia with her usual bull's eye sense of what and who makes up some of the more unique neighborhoods of this diverse city.  However, readers might find themselves frustrated by the complete ineptness of the investigation itself, a point she does make frequently, but one that somehow leaves out the faults of Demarkian himself.  So while sometimes an uneven read that at times jumps too quickly from scene to scene, all too often dropping important aspects long the way, it's nonetheless still a worthy read, and one that fans will eagerly devour. 




Heartstopper by Joy Fielding

Publisher: Pocket  ISBN-141652701X

Reviewed by Stephanie Padilla, New Mystery Reader

When Sandy Crosbie, high school teacher and mother of two teens, is convinced by her husband to move from New York to the middle of nowhere Florida by her husband, she's completely unprepared for the horror that will follow.  The first shocking blow comes when her husband, a handsome doctor, leaves her for his internet lover, his affair apparently the motivation behind the move.  The second blow comes when one of her students, a beautiful teenaged girl, disappears and is later found brutally murdered, an event that further shakes up her previously sedate and orderly life.  And when yet another body of a young woman is found, her fear is even more compounded with the realization that her own teenaged daughter could very well be the next victim.  And as the secrets of the small town she now calls home are revealed, she will soon discover that nobody is who they seem, and that nobody should be trusted. 

Fielding does it again!  Impossible to put down; this compelling depiction of small town life, teenage angst, and the need for acceptance and love is nothing short of pure brilliance from page one to its momentous and provocative denouement. Not only does Fielding provide exhilarating suspense and well-drawn characters, but she also nudges the reader into contemplating the surprisingly uncomplicated and all too real motivations that drive these fascinating characters to do what they do. With way too many virtues to even list, this latest from a true master of storytelling should not be missed.        



No One Heard Her Scream by Jordan Dane

Publisher: Avon  ISBN 978-0-06-125278-5

Reviewed by Don Crouch, New Mystery Reader

No One Heard Her Scream is the debut novel by Jordan Dane, and it’s an impressive one.

It’s the first of her 3 paperback originals to be released in successive months (this is a standalone, the next two aren’t), which shows how much Avon believes in her talents. That belief is well-placed.

No One Heard Her Scream  is the story of Rebecca Montgomery, a bitter and cynical San Antonio homicide detective. She’s been assigned to a possible homicide that brings home very unpleasant memories of the disappearance of her sister Danielle, and before long, those memories dominate her investigative process.

But she soldiers on, and before long, meets one Diego Galvan, Latin Smoothie.  We’re spoiling absolutely nothing when we say that their chemistry is immediate and palpable. Problem is, Diego is also a suspect in whatever disgusting business Rebecca finds herself digging into. And yes, folks, it’s disgusting.

So, all the pieces are in place for Dane to spin her web and pull us in. We’ve got hard-core FBI guys, wealthy criminal-masterminds and ruthless henchmen, all playing their part, and then some, in the events.

Dane is not afraid to take readers to dark places, which distinguishes her writing from specific genre work. Yeah, there’s some sex (pretty hot sex, truth be told), and romance, but No One Heard Her Scream busts out of the genre-trap by minimizing the soap-opera and keeping the characters real.

None more real than Rebecca Montgomery. It’s not long before readers adopt her as their own.  She’s got the baggage we all carry, and she hauls it around with grace and style.  It’s our hope that Dane chooses to spend more time with her.

Dane is not immune to the “over-writing virus”, make no mistake. But this is her first, and as such, we forgive it. She’s setting a tone, finding a style. We’d also like to see her make San Antonio much more of a “character” in the Montgomery stories. It’s one of America’s great cities, and is very under-used. We’re also confident she’ll find a way to make that happen.

The bottom line is that  No One Heard Her Scream heralds the arrival of a significant writer, and deserves your time.



Withering Heights by Dorothy Cannell

Publisher:  St. Martin's Paperbacks  ISBN:  13:  031294673X

Reviewed by Anne K. Edwards, New Mystery Reader 

Why is it the things one plans never come out as planned?  Ellie Haskell sent her kids to visit the grandparents so she and her husband, Ben, could have some time together.  But fate and their overdressed cleaning woman, Mrs. Malloy, have other plans for them.

Relatives of Ben's have won the lottery and moved into a manor house on the Yorkshire moors.  These are family members who haven't stayed in touch since their move, but unexpectedly the teenage daughter, Ariel, arrives at Merlin's Court during a heavy rain.

To return the girl to her home means a trip to the manor house.  Mrs. Mallow seizes the opportunity to ride along to visit a sister she hasn't seen in many years.  The trip takes them to the manor house and into murder.

Relationships in the manor house prove to be prickly and complicated. Other problems arise when a woman from Ben's past shows up. 

A lovely weave of several subplots with fun characters to lead us through the twists and turns of the story will keep you fully involved.  Join Ellie and Mrs. Malloy as they set about unraveling the several mysteries encountered on their arrival at the manor house. 

I'm pleased to highly recommend this fun read as a read well worth the time.  Talented author Dorothy Cannell creates a tale that we will long remember. You'll be looking for other books by this author and will enjoy them all.  Happy reading.

Enjoy.  I sure did.



Blind Spot by Terri Persons

Publisher: Berkley  ISBN-10: 042522046X

Reviewed by Stephanie Padilla, New Mystery Reader

FBI agent Bernadette St. Clare is quite used to being transferred from city to city, her ability for solving cases by seeing the crimes through the killer's eyes something the agency would rather keep quiet.  And when her latest transfer lands her in St. Paul, it doesn't take long before she's faced with tracking down a killer, a vengeful madman whose goal is to carry out the ultimate punishment when the law has failed to so. 

This first outing in the new series by Persons is absolutely dazzling, with St. Clare, otherwise known as "Cat", being one of the most engaging new heroines to come along in quite awhile.  Determined, independent, witty, and audacious, this new psychic crime fighter to the scene singularly transforms the typical serial killer novel into one of exhilarating distinction.  In addition, Persons masterfully creates a plot filled with both the ethereal and the natural, all the while adeptly avoiding all the usual clichés that all too often accompany the genre.  Filled with moments that are laugh out loud hysterical, and others that are emotionally stirring, this is a deeply gratifying read that surprises and stimulates all the way through, and one that will leave readers eagerly anticipating the next.