cover image The Samaritan

The Samaritan

Mason Cross. Pegasus Crime (Norton, dist.), $25.95 (416p) ISBN 978-1-60598-953-2

Despite a familiar plot line—the hunt to stop a serial killer—even jaded genre readers will be absorbed by Cross’s second thriller featuring manhunter Carter Blake (after 2015’s The Killing Season). The murderer has been dubbed the Samaritan for his pattern of offering to help stranded female motorists before torturing them and slitting their throats with a jagged blade. A landslide uncovers the corpses of three of his victims, including 22 year-old Kelly Boden. When Blake hears of the discovery, he heads to L.A. to join in the investigation, believing that he knows the killer, a former colleague in a shadowy military unit. That suspicion leads him to offer his services for free to Kelly’s father, and his assistance is warily accepted by the LAPD detective on the case, Jessica Allen, who may herself have some past history with the killer. Cross makes the most of perspectives alternating among Blake, Allen, and the Samaritan, building up to a logical but surprising climax. [em]Agent: Luigi Bonomi, LBA (U.K.). (Feb.) [/em]