Police psychologist and alcoholic Susan Pulaski wakes up after six days of detox to discover that she's lost her job with the Las Vegas police. More importantly, her niece and ward, Rachel, is now in foster care.

But with a serial killer on the loose, the police need Susan as a consultant. The killer is targeting young girls and leaving cryptic messages referencing the works of Edgar Allan Poe. Darcy, the 26-year-old autistic son of the police chief, helps Susan by deciphering the messages. Meanwhile, Susan continues to wage her battle with alcoholism, unable to forget her husband's terrible death.

The suspense is constant as police struggle to catch the killer before he claims another victim. While the novel is somewhat lengthy, it moves at a swift and sure pace, its gritty realism keeping you on the edge of your seat. (Feb., 480 pp., $25.95)
Reviewed by: 
Sheri Melnick