Pain and madness runs silent and deep through the killer in Barton's newest, disturbing offering. Besides the serial killer storyline, Barton continues a plot thread involving previous protagonists Nic and Griffin. People react differently to trauma, and Barton does a chillingly excellent job showcasing some extreme examples. Although filled with sadness and horrifying violence, this novel also focuses on the hope of second chances.

Eighteen months after her husband's murder, Cathy Cantrell returns home determined to get her teenage son Seth back and restart her life. Cathy suffered a nervous breakdown after her minister husband Mark's fiery death, and her in-laws have custody.

Jackson Perdue is back in town as the new deputy sheriff, and the first cold case he's handling involves the unsolved murders of two preachers. But the case becomes hot when a third preacher is murdered in the same gruesome fashion. Why are these men being targeted? Is it simply because they're preachers, or is it something in their pasts? The twisted motives driving this killer are reaching a fever pitch! (ZEBRA, Sep., 384 pp., $6.99)
Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith