By Danielle Girard
Onyx Books - Paperback
ISBN: 0451410238 - March 2002
Psychological Thriller / Contemporary

Reviewed by Barbara Buhrer, MyShelf.Com
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Samantha (Sam) Chase fled her Mississippi family and became a homicide detective in Walnut Creek, California. Tired of death and violence, she transferred to the State Department of Justice, where she worked with abuse victims. At the same time, she became guardian of her twin 8-year-old nephews, Derek and Rob, when their parents were killed n an auto accident.

Eight years later they have managed to become a family. Sam is successful at her job and envied by her partner, Gary Williams, who resents her success. When the mother of one of Sam's child abuse cases is found murdered, Detective Nick Thomas calls Sam to the case. The manner of murder is identical to that of a serial killer whose case they had solved years ago. The killer was executed, and they fear they have a copycat killer at work.

Another woman, also one of Sam's cases, is murdered. Scenes of these murders contain clues which were never released to the public. This leads to the suspicion that the killer may be a maverick cop. Some of her colleagues and her captain wonder if Sam is the rogue cop. Sam and Nick must find the killer to clear Sam and prevent any more murders.

This is a taut, fast-paced psychological thriller, treating the victims of child abuse clearly and honestly. The author discusses how some victims are able to transcend their experience while others turn into victimizers. This is well-written with characters who come alive. The plot is well-developed with unexpected revelations and a surprise ending.


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