A detective investigates when a judge becomes the key suspect in a series of brutal murders of men who abused their wives.

A killer is on the loose in Portland, and Detective Ray Barkley and his partner, Nina Preston, have to find who has been killing released wife abusers. Criminal court judge Carole Cranston has presided over all the trials, and she is Nina's favorite suspect. But Ray doesn't believe Carole's guilty and becomes romantically involved with her. Is he wrong? Maybe it's the woman who runs a center for abused women. Or is it someone else entirely?

Flowers has written a clever mystery with many suspects. There's also a romance, although the main thrust is on who is killing these men and how the characters feel about the murders of obviously guilty men who have escaped punishment on technicalities. Vividly written, this book holds the reader's attention and speeds along. (Aug., 368 pp., $6.99)
Reviewed by: 
Page Traynor