cover image Luck of the Draw

Luck of the Draw

Anthony J. Cardieri, . . Minotaur, $24.99 (261pp) ISBN 978-0-312-56502-2

Strong stomachs are needed for Cardieri's below average debut, a serial-killer whodunit. A fiend known as the Daily Killer is terrorizing New York City during the Christmas season, committing multiple murders every day and in some cases wiping out entire families. At each crime scene he leaves the taunting message: “better luck next time.” The high-profile case consumes NYPD Det. Deke Durgess, exacerbating tensions with his wife about time spent away from his family. The story line follows a predictable path as the public, the politicians and the police brass all put increasing pressure on Durgess and his FBI partner, Kurt Joseph, to find the pattern that will enable them to anticipate the killer's next targets. Even CSI junkies may find the graphic details of the fatal shootings excessive, while the number of small children gunned down will turn off others. The revelation of the Daily Killer's identity won't surprise veteran genre readers. (Dec.)