Blood Rose

William Heffernan, Author Dutton Books $18.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-525-24962-7
This fourth novel by the author of Ritual contains a veritable school of red herrings, which are initially intriguing but ultimately strain the novel's effect. Haunted by an incident in his past--he was forced to kill his partner, who was a serial murderer--former NYC detective Paul Devlin takes the job of police chief in a sleepy Vermont town. Another new resident is Leslie Adams, lately arrived from Philadelphia with her younger brother, seeking a quiet place where she can safely hide from her brutal husband. Blake, Vt., however, offers sanctuary neither to newcomers nor to oldtimers: a serial killer is murdering women, removing their hearts and leaving a single red rose as a ``signature.'' Heffernan's prose is pedestrian--characters are too often ``chilled''; when they speak they ``hiss'' and ``stammer.'' Yet he can construct a devious and surprising plot, and there is enough action to satisfy a devotee of martial arts. But weak characterization and Heffernan 's penchant for telling instead of showing defuse this thriller's sizzle. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/04/1991
Release date: 03/01/1991
Mass Market Paperbound - 10 pages - 978-0-451-17163-4
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