St. Martin's, Jul 2004, 12.95, 272 pp.
The police psychiatrist asks South East Detective Sergeant Brant to talk about his tendency towards violence when the patient lights up a cigarette in the non-smoking office and head butts the shrink. As the Super lectures Chief Inspector Roberts over his failure to reign in Brant's abusiveness, the latter learns his wife died in a car accident. Super has his favorite poster, boy handsome PC McDonald, take home the distraught Roberts. The fair haired McDonald runs into trouble; Brant sets him up to look like a stooge and he had an accident in which he killed someone.
While Roberts replaces his wife with alcohol as his companion, Falls turns to drugs and a skinhead for solace, and Brant is on the brink of suspension, Police officer Sandra Miller is murdered. Other cops are killed and soon the South East London Police Squad knows they must stop a vicious serial killer. However, with Roberts deep into mourning and Brant in deep trouble, Porter Nash leads the investigative task force which only angers his superiors, Roberts and Brant.
Readers get a close up look at several cops struggling with personal problems when the serial killer, seeking publicity, begins a reign of terror.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner