DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN, a police procedural, centers around a case involving the death of a fourteen-year-old girl. The location of the body, the way it is dressed and posed, suggests she just might be the victim of a serial killer -- an internet sexual predator.
Laura Cardinal is a criminal investigator and a lead detective in the case. In the rustic town of Bisbee, Arizona, Laura finds herself pitted against an envious female law enforcement officer and this woman's boss, a man who conducts his own investigation. After consulting with a wealthy quadriplegic super-hacker regarding internet sexual predators, Laura follows a lead across the country to a sleepy town on the Florida panhandle.
This report prepared by Carol Davis Luce
Signet, Jan 2005, 6.99, 368 pp.
In Bisbee, Arizona, teenager Jessica Parker was abducted near her home and killed. Needing help, the police chief asks the Arizona Department of Public Safety to send an investigator. When Laura Cardinal starts investigating, she is shocked that the girl looks like her childhood friend who was also abducted and killed. Laura finds a matchbook cover with the name Crazygirl12 is on it.
Laura thinks that Jessica met her killer over the internet even though local officer Buddy Hudson believes it was a local man. Two twelve years old girls are raped and killed by a perpetrator using the sane MO as Jessica's murderer. A tip sends Laura to a small Florida town where she finds out the identity of the sexual killer. When Buddy's daughter is abducted, Laura rushes back to Bisbee; he thinks the same perpetrator took his child. Besides the kidnapper, a sexual sadist who tortures, rapes, and kills young girls has plans for the girl.
The author uses the first person to hone in on the perpetrator's thoughts and feelings so that readers will feel a great antipathy towards him.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner