Five Star, Sep 2004, 25.95, 320 pp.
In Snowden County, Virginia, forty-three year old Sheriff Lucia Dove works a missing teen case. Apparently, good girl Julie Boyer came home from school and vanished not long afterward. The only clues are her Internet romance with Floridian Lyle Taylor. Lucia works closely on the investigation with Lieutenant Jack Fincham assisting her. The two cops have the hots for one another, but hide it as he is unhappily married to an alcoholic in denial and has a child. Lucia had a child out of wedlock, but she died in an accident.
Jack's wife apparently commits suicide, but FBI Agent Mike McQuigg, Lucia's nasty ex-husband, thinks murder occurred. He legally searches Jack's home only to find a razor with DNA evidence linked to two other female teen homicides in the area. Lucia believes that Jack is being set up and wonders why Mike got involved in the case starting with the missing Julie. She begins her own inquiries not sure where it will take her, but when she gets there she is in for quite a shocker.
This solid police procedural contains an interesting lead protagonist who struggles with any wrong doing to children because of her daughter's death . The story line is fast-paced and the simmering desire between Jack and Lucia is hotter than the Arizona desert in summer. Though the identity of the serial killer will stun the audience who may think that it seems too way out, fans will appreciate this tense thriller.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner