cover image Dead Eyes

Dead Eyes

Stuart Woods. HarperCollins Publishers, $22 (303pp) ISBN 978-0-06-017715-7

``The first letter arrived on a Monday.'' So begins the masterfully paced thriller from the author of Palindrome , Santa Fe Rules , etc. Young Hollywood actress Chris Callaway is poised at the brink of stardom when her world collapses. Shortly after she begins receiving disquieting letters signed ``Admirer,'' she is nearly blinded in a fall at the construction site of her new Malibu home. As Admirer becomes a menacing stalker, sending gifts and a gruesome photo and calling on the phone, Chris is stoutly guarded by her best friend and confidant, hairdresser Danny Devere. Also on duty is Beverly Hills police detective and stalker expert Jon Larsen. The Admirer soon targets the threesome in escalating attacks that become grisly and, then, murderous. Meanwhile, Larsen races to investigate the sinister suspects that emerge from the cadre of subcontractors on the Malibu construction team. Woods's style is lean and staccato, if unsubtle, and he's a pro at turning up the suspense, which is increased here as romance blooms between the cop and the rising star. 100,000 first printing; major ad/promo; author tour. (Jan)