Litchfield, TX police detective Maggie Ryan hopes that by working in the suburbs she can avoid the violent horrors of larger cities, but shes definitely wrong. She and her partner John Phillips are called to investigate a shocking case. A shooter has boarded a bus for special needs students, wounded the driver and killed 16-year-old Pauletta Turner, who suffered from severe developmental disabilities.

Maggie, who must confront her own personal demons that include a nightmarish past and a mother with Alzheimers, vows she wont rest until this case is closed. She cant imagine who would want to hurt a harmless child.

Her investigation reveals that although Paulettas mother loved her, bad blood between her and her estranged husband may have been behind the killing. Theres also her mothers lover, who didnt want the disabled child around. As Maggie meticulously continues her investigation, a secret about Pauletta is revealed, one that may have ultimately caused her death.

Susan McBride comes up with an emotionally intense, suspenseful story in OVERKILL. Her plotting is flawless and the ending, though completely logical, will take you by surprise. This is definitely a one-sitting book. (Oct., 256 pp., $14.95)

Reviewed by: 
Toby Bromberg