Eyeshot

Lynn Hightower, Author
Lynn Hightower, Author HarperCollins Publishers $23 (0p) ISBN 978-0-06-017649-5
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-06-100860-3
Mass Market Paperbound - 368 pages - 978-0-06-109609-9
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At certain moments, Cincinnati homicide detective Sonora Blair hates her job. One of those moments comes while interviewing Butch Winchell about his missing wife, Julia: while studying pictures of the stunning woman with her two young children, Sonora has to deal with the ""come-hither"" looks of her partner, Sam Delarose. Throughout this third Sonora Blair crime novel (after Flashpoint and Satan's Lambs), Hightower lightens the atmosphere by juxtaposing sexual tension and banter with the step-by-step hunt for a homicidal maniac. The chase starts when Winchell's mention of a tattoo on his wife's ankle reminds Sonora that a colleague has discovered a leg amputated above the ankle, perhaps to prevent identification. A search of Julia's hotel room reveals evidence of an affair--and also turns up notes implicating prominent Cincinnati D.A. Gage Caplan in the unsolved murder of his pregnant wife eight years ago. Julia witnessed the murder, although at the time she couldn't get anybody to believe her. As Sonora and Sam piece together the clues, it becomes apparent that Caplan's pregnant second wife is likely to be next on his list. As a crime puzzle, this novel is nothing special. What gives it depth and resonance is the way Hightower counterpoints the murder plot with the details of Sonora's daily life in homicide, from the annoyance of having to share the station's women's room with male cops to discussions among women about how to tell if the man they're seeing is married. This wry, easygoing narrative overlay gives Sonora and her latest adventure an appeal that should draw in readers despite the lack of cliff-hanger suspense. (Oct.)
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