Seven years ago, 19-year-old Lacey Sherlock started down a career path that would eventually bring her face to face with her older sister's murderer. She is thrilled to be selected to join FBI Agent and computer genius Dillon Savich's Criminal Apprehension Unit (CAU). Fearing that the FBI would not accept her if they knew of her hidden quest, Sherlock has played down any connection to Belinda Madigan, the String Killer's fourth victim.

Sherlock proves herself quick and intuitive as she joins CAU, and on her off time she searches data banks for clues regarding her sister's killer. Then, seven years to the day since the last murder, Sherlock finds an account of a Boston murder that chills her blood: the String Killer has returned.

Dillon Savich realizes that his new agent is moonlighting, but despite his anger, he agrees to let her follow up on the Boston case. With Sherlock's detailed knowledge of the killer and new computer technology, a promising suspect emerges. Sherlock volunteers to play bait to entice the suspect, Merlin Jones, to strike yet again.

Following Jones' arrest, Sherlock should be thrilled and relieved that the murderer of eight women has finally been caught; but doubts arise as Merlin plays mind games and inconsistencies in the evidence arise. Merlin Jones is definitely a killer, but did he kill Belinda?

THE MAZE is a chilling nail-biter of the first magnitude. Ms. Coulter pulls out all the stops with this utterly gripping tale of unrelenting suspense! (Mar., 384 pp., $7.50)

Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith