STAIN OF GUILT
Artist Annie Kingston earned fame when she cracked a homicide case in her neighborhood a year ago. Now she's a student of forensic art, and the acclaimed TV show American Fugitive wants her to help solve a 20-year-old double murder by drawing an updated portrait of the suspect, Bill Bland.
In order to do so, Annie must immerse herself in the man's twisted mind, as well as learn intimate details of his life. If she overlooks any habitual expression, her rendering of the way his face has aged could keep him from being apprehended. But she reluctantly agrees to the assignment out of sympathy for the victims' family members.
Soon she and her own family are threatened by someone out to stop her from completing the drawing. Annie works feverishly and prays just as urgently that God will find a way to get her and her children through this threat alive.
Collins keeps the reader gasping and guessing as her artistic prose paints vivid pictures on their minds. High marks for original plotting and superb pacing. (Oct., 400 pp., $12.99)
Jill Elizabeth Nelson