Widowmaker

William Appel, Author
William Appel, Author Walker & Company $19.95 (167p) ISBN 978-0-8027-3193-7
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Appel's fifth novel, after Whisper... He Might Hear You, places criminal psychologist Kate Berman, her husband Josh, a retired New York City medical examiner, and their wry, weary friend Casey, NYPD's Chief of Detectives, in a plot that mixes sex and sadistic violence with forensics and procedural elements. Within the first few pages, readers know who is killing the men found dead of digitalis overdoses: all are married men who had been last seen with a beautiful woman and who died within minutes of sexual climax. Because of the FBI view that there are no female serial killers, police suspect a transvestite, possibly a gay murderer in drag. At Casey's request, Kate and Josh apply their talents to the case, an effort that draws Kate into chilling peril. With cinematic narrative cuts, sophisticated, elliptical dialogue and complex interpersonal relationships, Appel keeps his readers interested, despite the fact that they are, until the very end, a step ahead of the protagonists. (Nov.)
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