cover image After She’s Gone

After She’s Gone

Lisa Jackson. Kensington, $26 (400p) ISBN 978-1-61773-465-6

Ten years after a serial killer tormented retired movie star Jenna Hughes and her two daughters, Cassie and Allie Kramer, in bestseller Jackson’s Deep Freeze (2005), mother and now-grown daughters must contend with further angst and violence in this disappointing sequel. Allie, who’s become a big movie star, disappears while Dead Heat, her latest film, is wrapping up in Portland, Ore. In addition, a prop gun turns out to be the real thing when the actress doubling for Allie is shot and almost killed. Psychologically unstable Cassie, who has a bit part in Dead Heat, embarks on a mission to find her missing sister. Flashbacks reveal the tortured relations between the sisters, their rivalry over roles and men, as Cassie flits between Los Angeles and Portland in search of answers. Meanwhile, various people involved with Dead Heat are murdered with grotesque clues seeming to point to Cassie as the killer. Jackson settles for a lot of smoke but little heat in this tepid thriller. [em]Agent: Robin Rue, Writers House. (Jan.) [/em]