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By Todd Stone
Hard Shell Word Factory - February 2002
ISBN 0759905363 - Trade Paperback

Reviewed by Dennis Collins, MyShelf.Com
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Jonathan Kraag is a burned out ex-FBI profiler coasting along as head of security for a non-political corporation. His PI license remains current as his ace in the hole.

A plea from an old war buddy disrupts Kraags routine and his peace and quiet. Phillip Dorland, ex-Vietnam chopper pilot, is now the mayor of one of Chicago's affluent suburbs and he has a serial killer terrorizing his tranquil community. The murderer is especially vicious and has to be captured before full-scale panic engulfs the city. Jonathan Kraag is asked to assist police in identifying the killer.

Kraag's task is complicated by two diametrically opposed police detectives, Jackie Marius, the politically savvy fast tracker and Dan Dubrowski, the cynical traditionalist. Both detectives are dedicated and sincere, both are determined to solve the case, and both are flawed. Jonathon Kraag, battling personal demons of his own, is a somewhat reluctant advisor in this affair and his relationship with the city police becomes occasionally testy.

This is a dark story with a complicated plot. Todd Stone does an outstanding job of keeping the reader in step with developments. The short chapters and quick dialog set the pace and the characters are real enough and interesting enough to make you care what happens to each of them. I developed a liking for just about everybody in this story. And when it comes to the murderer, Stone's thorough understanding of the killer's psyche helps me to understand some of the why's.

I'll give this book an excellent rating. It's a very intriguing, well-told story. The characters are real and believable and the tempo is stimulating.

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