Hunter's latest is simply excellent -- a tantalizing blend of procedural and
family saga sweetened by a touch of romance and humor. Ashlee's first-person viewpoint adds a great deal, too.

When her dogs bring home a child's red sneaker, forensic nurse Ashlee Davenport Chadwick is dismayed to find decayed tissue inside it. After collecting what could be vital evidence, she contacts the authorities and makes a careful search of her property for the body. Having her boyfriend, FBI agent Jim Ramsey, show up with local law enforcement tells Ashlee that she's stumbled into something important.

Ramsey is tracking a serial killer who targets young girls, and Ashlee's find is certainly one of his victims. As the case unfolds, it becomes obvious that the killer is fixated on Ashlee's biracial family. All of his victims are buried near, or on, Chadwick land, making all of the Chadwicks -- Ashlee included -- persons of interest to the FBI. (MIRA, Feb., 384 pp., $6.99)
Reviewed by: 
Catherine Witmer