Zebra, Mar 2004, 6.99, 448 pp.
Lumpkin County, North Carolina Sheriff Baldwin calls Savannah cop Pierce Reed to come immediately to a crime scene in a wooded area as his name was found with the deceased. Pierce is shown a coffin containing two bodies and a microphone. Apparently someone Pierce knows Barbara Jean Marx was buried alive with an existing corpse.
Savannah Sentinel reporter Nikki Gillette follows Pierce and his partner Sylvie Morrisette as they try to uncover the identity of a serial killer. The culprit seems to be toying with Pierce as the offender appears to intimately know the cop. As Pierce cannot shake off Nikki, he finds himself falling in love with her, a feeling the journalist reciprocates. Neither one knows the connection Nikki has with the psychopath, but Pierce is willing to risk his life to keep his beloved from being the next person buried alive.
The latest Lisa Jackson's Georgia police procedural romance (see THE NIGHT BEFORE) is a solid terse tale that hooks the audience from the eerie opening scene until the climax. The story line never slows down from the moment Barbara Jean knows she has been buried alive with a dead body until the final confrontation between the heroes and the villain. Though the motive for the homicides seems crazy (than again the killer is crazy), fans will appreciate the lead couple and his partner as the stress on each of them from love and from the murders is palpable. Once again Ms Jackson provides a terse romantic suspense with the accent on thriller.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner