St. Martin's, March 2003, 24.95, 384 pp.
Very few people have lived through the trauma Molly Burke has and remained sane but somehow she has managed it. Her parents were emotionally distant (some might call them abusive). She did a tour of duty in the war zone that was South Vietnam and came home to discover she couldn't have any children thanks to the effects of Agent Orange and to this day still suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Yet with all that she is one of the best trauma nurses in St. Louis because she cares about her charges.
Working two jobs just to stay above the poverty line Molly is doing her best to deal with the threatening letters she is receiving. Her troubled nephew Patrick comes to stay with her while she is trying to cope with her stalker who is now sending her human skulls and femurs. The killer informs Molly that she knows him so she is in the middle of a very dangerous homicide investigation, trying to identify the perpetrator before he strikes against. Molly also deals with her rambunctious nephew and a media onslaught that turns her home into a glass house.
Although the heroine thinks she is a head case, she is one of the sanest characters to walk the pages of a crime novel. After what life has thrown at Molly, she somehow not only manages to cope but also has become a stronger person. Eileen Dreyer is a superb writer who manages to keep surprising the reader with one unexpected revelation after another. Fans of Patricia Cornwell and Robin Cook will love HEAD GAMES.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner