cover image DEAD RUN


Erica Spindler, . . Mira, $22.95 (384pp) ISBN 978-1-55166-914-4

Troubled teenagers, a satanic cult, a serial killer and hurricane-force evil disturb the island paradise of Key West in Spindler's latest chiller. Divorced family counselor Liz Ames relocates from St. Louis to Key West to investigate the disappearance of her sister, Pastor Rachel Howard, who left Liz a mysterious phone message about a teenaged girl, illegal activities and threats to her life. Local police chief Val Lopez does not share Liz's certainty that her sister has fallen victim to foul play, nor is hers the only island mystery confronting police: a wealthy loan officer with deviant tastes has plummeted to his death, a suspected suicide; another bank employee is reported missing before her body washes ashore, a suspected homicide; and just as Liz gets to know her, a teenage girl is brutally murdered and mutilated, her runaway boyfriend the prime suspect. Liz seeks help from Rick Wells, Miami cop–turned–bar owner and close friend of the police chief; Rachel's successor, Pastor Tim; and Heather Ferguson, the blonde bombshell owner of a bikini boutique. Not knowing which locals she can trust, Liz (who's not entirely honest herself) heads into the eye of a hurricane and a classic confrontation between good and evil. Spindler (Bone Cold; All Fall Down) demonstrates the power of faith over satanic forces with campy descriptions of both and embellishes her by-the-numbers thriller with savvy amounts of sex and moral outrage, investigation and confrontation, psychology and romance. Agent, Evan Marshall. (June)