Nightwatcher

Wendi Corsi Staub. Harper, $7.99 mass market (344p) ISBN 978-0-06-207028-9
Despite the interesting idea of a serial killer operating in Manhattan immediately after the 9/11 terror attacks, bestseller Staub’s romantic suspense novel ends up doing little with such a dramatic backdrop for crimes that, though savage, have no real connection to the Twin Towers’ destruction. The day after al-Qaeda’s strike, Kristina Haines, who had rejected the awkward advances of her building’s part-time handyman, is butchered in her apartment. The identity of the killer isn’t withheld from the reader for long, making the remainder of the book a thriller focusing on whether callow heroine Allison Taylor, a fashion editor, will successfully evade the murderer and hook up with a neighbor whose wife was in one of the towers when it collapsed. That the book is billed as the kickoff to a new series vitiates much uncertainty as to those two major plot questions, but even as a stand-alone, it suffers from paper-thin characterizations and motivations. Agent: Laura Peterson, Curtis Brown. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/23/2012
Release date: 08/01/2012
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