Gaylin's debut novel has a delightful combination of wit, romance and capti-vating suspense. New Yorker Samantha Leiffer's life changes irrevocably when she witnesses a man and woman mysteriously dumping an ice chest in a river. The man sees her before she leaves the riverside, and his mysterious eyes, with mirrored contacts, continue to haunt Sam.

Though she reports this odd occurrence to police, specifically sexy detective John Krull, they don't believe a crime has been committed. But Krull changes his mind when the ice chest and its contents turn up.

Then Sam receives threatening notes and phone calls, and she believes that the man with mysterious eyes is stalking her. Krull makes it his duty to protect Sam, and the two embark on a scintillating romance. Can the cops find the killer before there's another victim?

Quirky and original, this novel has levity as well as suspense, thanks to Sam's zany theater friends, who are as supportive as they are eccentric. The romance between Sam and Krull provides added depth to the intricate mystery. (Mar., 320 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Sheri Melnick