Hilary Norman. Severn, $28.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-7278-8224-0
Norman’s sixth outing for Det. Sam Becket of the Miami Beach Violent Crimes Unit (after 2011’s Hell) features a hunt for a serial killer that’s too familiar to be satisfying. The psycho in question, dubbed “Black Hole,” has just struck for the fourth time. In each case, the murderer sedates his female victim before shooting out her eyes. This grisly story line isn’t improved by subplots that prove no more compelling, such as one that involves Becket’s child psychologist wife, Grace, who’s attending a conference in Zurich and befriends an odd young man after saving his life. Most readers’ antennae will be quivering from the outset, and their patience will be increasingly tested by Grace’s slowness at figuring out that something is amiss with her new friend. An even duller diversion is provided by Mildred, Sam’s stepmother, whose fear of cataract surgery eventually proves relevant to the plot only in a contrived manner, unfortunately typical of the entire novel. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/24/2012
Release date: 01/01/2013
Open Ebook - 224 pages - 978-1-78010-352-5
Paperback - 240 pages - 978-1-84751-457-8
Hardcover - 368 pages - 978-0-7278-9698-8
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