cover image Cold Kill: A Detective Stella Mooney Novel

Cold Kill: A Detective Stella Mooney Novel

David Lawrence, . . St. Martin's Minotaur/Dunne, $23.95 (448pp) ISBN 978-0-312-34741-3

British author Lawrence's third police procedural to feature Det. Stella Mooney (after 2005's Nothing Like the Night ) offers some new wrinkles on the serial killer theme. Mooney, an attractive and fearless officer who wrestles with the psychological aftermath of having taken a life in self-defense, is rapidly immersed in the search for a brutal murderer victimizing young London women. The probe apparently catches an early break when Robert Kimber walks into a police station and confesses to the latest crime, but his vagueness about details and the absence of forensic evidence force Mooney to authorize his release. More deaths follow, leading to some major second-guessing of that decision. Lawrence's crisp writing and memorable characters make this an absorbing read, even if the coincidences toward the end are piled on a little high. The author displays enough talent to attract nonprocedural fans, and his deft touch at occasional gallows humor helps this novel to stand out from the pack. (June)