Chicago police lieutenant Jacqueline "Jack" Daniels returns for a third
adventure. This time she's up against
a killer who sends her taunting, terrifying videos that show brutal, sadistic murders almost exactly like those of
the Gingerbread Man, the serial killer whom Jack dispatched in Whiskey Sour.
The chapters toggle between Jack's pursuit of the copycat killer (told in first person) and the activities of the lethal, psychotic Alex (told in creepy third person). The suspense builds and the bodies pile up horrifically. When will hunted and hunter meet? And who's the hunter, who's the prey?
While there's a lot to like about Jack, she repeatedly and rashly puts herself and others in jeopardy -- hardly good cop behavior. There are some unbelievable lapses in the investigation of the Gingerbread Man, and sharp-eyed readers will figure out a crucial plot twist well before its reveal. But Chicagoland is well rendered, and Jack and her cohorts crack wise and sometimes witty amid the gore. Konrath also includes a recipe for a Rusty Nail (1 oz. Scotch, 1 oz. Drambuie; pour ingredients over ice in an old-fashioned glass). Bottoms up! (Jul., 304 pp., $23.95)