Guilt and grief have led former Houston TV reporter Paris Gibson to relocate to Austin and become a late- night radio personality. Her mix of music, advice and talk has earned her quite a following. But a listener who calls himself Valentino has taken exception to her advice.

When he gets Paris on the line, he informs her that he's kidnapped his girlfriend and will kill her within 72 hours because Paris suggested she break up with him. Valentino taunts Paris that it will be her fault when the woman dies.

Immediately suspecting that Valentino is more than a crank call, Paris contacts the police, who bring in newly hired police psychologist Dr. Dean Mallory for help. Dean and Paris are shocked to be suddenly brought back into contact, for they share a tragic past.

Carve out some reading time because Brown delivers again. Complex characters with competing motivations always make her thrillers gripping reads. (Oct., 400 pp., $25.95)

Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith