The protagonist, a PHD mis-fit female detective/profiler "Susan" recently widowed, late husband also a police detective. Sinks into mentally ill soup of alcoholism, violent assault, alcoholism detox, hallucinations, job and status loss, delusions of persecution and justifiable loss of custody of her ward niece into the care of a foster family. Rather than be a come back from behind character Susan continues to secretly, she thinks, drink after her bout with detox. Remarkably, the police superior that fired her hires her back as a special consultant on a serial murder. Then even more remarkably Susan becomes the focus of the antagonist. Along the way Susan has drunken alley sex with someone she barely could remember to speak to in the bar earlier that night. The sex, implied as unprotected anal intercourse with a stranger, pushed this book over the edge and into the trash.
This report prepared by Soliton
Ballantine, Jan 2005, 125.95, 480 pp.
Alcoholic Susan Pulaski loses her job as a police psychologist for the Las Vegas Police Department because she rarely stays sober. However, she has no time to drown her latest sorrow with more drink because her former boss LVPD Chief O'Bannon, who fired her, needs her skills as a profiler to stop a clever serial killer who murders young girls and leaves behind a cryptic note.
Susan asks her ex-boss' twenty-something son Darby, an idiot savant whose expertise happens to be encrypted messages to break the code. They soon find an Edgar Allen Poe cryptic, but have no idea what that means in the deadly modern context. Unbeknownst to Susan she plays a beleaguered heroine in a Poe work as the killer has a role for her that will end in her death if he directs the show.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner