Suzanne Forster, Author . Berkley $7.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-425-19120-0

Though the premise of Forster's thriller may sound hokey—a criminal dubbed the Violator enters women's homes clad in motorcycle gear, whisks them away to a trailer, removes all their hair and releases them, drugged but alive—skeptical readers will renew their interest in this creepy mystery when forensic sketch artist Jennifer Nash appears on the scene. Jennifer has perfected a new technique for helping witnesses accurately describe a criminal's face, but several of Seattle's finest, including her old flame, Russ Sadler, are doubtful of her methods. The scenes in which Jennifer works with the first witness, a skittish bird named Myrna Simone, are gripping, especially when it becomes clear that the face she's drawing may belong to someone she knows. Meanwhile, tension between Jennifer and Russ steams up the pages. Engaged to Russ two years earlier, Jennifer fled the relationship, unable to overcome her fear of men. But now, as the two work together to bring down the Violator, they forge an even stronger emotional bond. Forster's prose can be melodramatic at times, particularly when Jennifer is exposing the "burial ground of her past," but overall, this well-balanced romantic intrigue is likely to earn Forster, who's best known for her sensual stories (Sinful, etc.), a wider readership. (Aug. 5)

Reviewed on: 07/07/2003
Release date: 08/01/2003
Hardcover - 469 pages - 978-1-58724-558-9
Prebound-Sewn - 978-1-4177-1212-0
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