cover image The Creeper

The Creeper

Tania Carver. Pegasus Crime (Norton, dist.), $25.95 (448p) ISBN 978-1-60598-359-2

In British author Carver’s taut follow-up to her 2011 debut, The Surrogate, Colchester Det. Insp. Phil Brennan and his hodgepodge Major Incident Squad pursue a serial killer, the eponymous creeper, who likes to torture and mutilate his female victims. Could 26-year-old Suzanne Perry, to whom he’s sent a chilling warning, be next? Carver exposes the all-too-human foibles and internal police politics that can impede investigations even as the lives of future victims hang by a slender thread. Brennan’s personal life is in shreds after police profiler Marina Esposito, the mother of his child, inexplicably leaves him. And thanks to austerity, he’s forced to work with Fiona Welch, a cheap profiler knockoff. Worse, the MIS team is saddled with his superior’s paramour. But when the investigation inevitably implodes, Brennan has to man up and pull the pieces—personal and professional—back together. Carver’s just-one-more-chapter pacing, subtle clues, and cunning plot twists once again do the trick. Agent: Jane Gregory, Gregory and Company. (Sept.)