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Mr. Murder: A Sally Harrington Novel

Laura Van Wormer, Author
Laura Van Wormer, Author . Mira $24.95 (346p) ISBN 978-0-7783-2177-4
Mass Market Paperbound - 375 pages - 978-0-7783-2407-2
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In Van Wormer's sixth novel to feature rich, beautiful TV reporter Sally Harrington (after The Kill Fee ), a killer known as Mr. Murder targets a vast number of antagonists from the author's previous outings, including jealous ex-lovers and competitive co-workers. But the murders are actually sacrificial lures. Sally herself is intended as her benefactor's main victim—something the supposedly crack reporter doesn't figure out until well into the book, but which readers know from the get-go, thanks to a classic romance-suspense prologue that's a study in savage sexual obsession. Sadly, though, the killer's mind isn't revisited, so the suspense stops short. Suspects are little more than names on a laundry list; sketchy background fills may suffice for a series' longtime fans, but such careless characterization doesn't create enough tension for new readers. Those seeking a deliciously gossipy insider look into the broadcasting world, however, won't be disappointed. As a just-promoted news anchor, Sally spends most of the book chasing sponsors, not crooks, and this hardly less cutthroat pursuit is plotted with Van Wormer's customary self-deprecating humor, eye for glamour and attention to convincing detail. (Jan.)

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