The murder of a Catholic priest in an airport restroom is disturbing on its own. But when a series of similar crimes follows -- seemingly scattered at random across the country -- local law enforcement calls in FBI profiler Maggie O'Dell.

Haunted by a child-murder case she worked on Nebraska -- and the knowledge that the real killer, Father Michael Keller, eluded capture -- Maggie is distracted about returning to the state, but she manages to develop a workable theory quickly. The dead priests were pedophiles, and their executioners are a former victim or victims connected by the Internet. Her theory is lent credence by the sudden reappearance of Father Keller, who's a target and wants to save his skin by helping catch the guilty party. But can Maggie live with making a deal with the devil?

Those waiting for the follow-up to A Perfect Evil will devour this taut, fast-paced story, and even the uninitiated will be staying up very late. Not for the squeamish! (Feb., 416 pp., $21.95)
Reviewed by: 
Catherine Witmer