Amy Gutman, Author . Little, Brown $21.95 (352p) ISBN 978-0-316-38120-8

In a chilling courtroom prologue, Gutman introduces serial killer Steven Gage: "There was something broken and evil in him that could never be repaired." Unfortunately, the rest of the book never quite equals the impact of the opening pages. The reader quickly realizes that even though Steven is condemned to death and executed, he will somehow rise from the grave to continue his murderous ways. The author's debut novel, Equivocal Death, featured a woman lawyer in peril. This time, Gutman has upped the ante: three women and a child are all targets of a Nietzsche-spouting madman who may be out to avenge Gage's death. An anonymous message ("Happy anniversary. I haven't forgotten you") is received by three different women—Diane Massy, who wrote a bestselling true-crime book about Gage and is presently living on a remote island in Maine; Melanie White, one of Gage's lawyers and now a high-powered attorney; and Gage's ex-girlfriend Callie Thayer, who lives a quiet life under an assumed name in a small town with her 10-year-old daughter, Anna. Each initially discounts the message and its connection to the serial killer until very bad things begin to happen. The question for the three women (and the reader) is: who has taken up where Steven Gage left off? Gutman writes competently and keeps the plot moving, but the suspect list includes almost every male character in the book except 10-year-old Henry, Anna's friend who lives across the street. Experienced thriller readers will know that a profusion of possibilities and an overabundance of red herrings leads straight to that disappointing old standby: the Least Likely Person. Bingo. Agent, Nicholas Ellison.Mystery Guild selection; Brilliance audio; 4-city author tour; foreign rights sold in 6 countries. (June)

Reviewed on: 06/02/2003
Release date: 06/01/2003
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-59086-620-7
MP3 CD - 978-1-59335-621-7
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Paperback - 420 pages - 978-0-446-61417-7
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Open Ebook - 217 pages - 978-0-316-14510-7
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