Ethan Black, Author Ballantine Books $24 (400p) ISBN 978-0-345-43347-3
A female serial killer who knows everyone's secrets is at the center of Black's gripping, fast-moving second novel featuring New York City sex-crimes detective Conrad Voort (who debuted in The Broken Hearts Club). As the book opens, Voort is fantasizing about ex-girlfriend Camilla Ryan, host of a TV newsmagazine show and a possible suspect in the vicious mutilation and murder of network executive Paul Anderson. But Anderson is only one of four targets who have been marked for death by the real killer, the vivacious and insane Nora Clay. As the murders continue, Voort tries to balance his longing for Camilla with his feelings for a new (and newly pregnant) girlfriend. Investigators, believing conventional wisdom that serial killers are usually male, are thrown off-track by the clues left in Nora's wake. Voort's search for the common denominator that links the dead men leads to Nora, who works as a transcript typist. Her job gives Nora access to New York's best-kept secrets, which she uses to track her potential victims--and now Voort is on her list. Black has built his tale on character more than on plot--everything that Nora does is grounded in her solidly detailed and tragic past, making her a credible villain. He also expertly interweaves recurring themes, such as commitment issues, parenting and knowledge-as-power, to connect even the minor characters to the main mystery. In a single riveting sequence, the climax unites every thread Black has spun into the web of his stylish thriller. BOMC and QPB selections; audio rights to Dove. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/03/2000
Release date: 04/01/2000
Mass Market Paperbound - 384 pages - 978-0-345-43348-0
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7871-2358-1
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