cover image Dead On: A Marcus Rydell, Kat Holley PI Thriller

Dead On: A Marcus Rydell, Kat Holley PI Thriller

Robert W. Walker, . . Five Star, $25.99 (321pp) ISBN 978-1-59414-781-4

At the start of this middling thriller, the first in a new series from Walker (PSI: Blue ), Marcus Rydell, a disgraced ex-cop and failed PI on the verge of suicide, and Kat Holley, an attractive doctor bent on revenge, join forces to catch a psychopathic killer. Iden Cantu, four years earlier, slew six people in an Atlanta bloodbath, including Rydell's then police partner and Holley's cop husband. Cantu, who's made a game of stalking and killing the surviving relatives from the bloodbath, never becomes more than an unseen bogeyman until late in the story, when Rydell, Holley and another at-risk family seek refuge in a remote cabin in Georgia's Blue Ridge Lake area. Besieged and taunted by Cantu, Rydell and Holley seek to turn the tables on the sadistic hunter. The climactic struggle arrives too late to save the cumbersome setup and slow-developing plot. Leaden dialogue doesn't help. (July)