cover image Alone with the Dead

Alone with the Dead

Robert J. Randisi. St. Martin's Press, $21.95 (262pp) ISBN 978-0-312-13022-0

Moving his readers along at a breathless pace (and keeping them one step ahead of the boys in blue), Randisi renders the mad ramblings of a pathetic young man who follows a series of sexual murders in the New York City tabloids and determines to copy, and finally to surpass, the murderer's work. For a number of sinister reasons, detective Joe Keough's superiors are determined to pin all the killings on the man the papers call ``the Lover.'' But Keough isn't convinced: the earlier killings occurred in Manhattan and the later ones in Brooklyn, a change of venue that matches subtle alterations in MO. Keough has a reputation for trouble, but so do a few of his superiors--and they hold the face cards. Randisi power-shifts this work from the start, slowing only to provide procedural detail before resuming speed, even on the brave narrative detour in which the Lover, concerned about his reputation, makes phone contact with Keough. As one killer comes to the surface, the other's rage intensifies. This is top-notch suspense, right from the chilling prologue to the brutal conclusion. (June)