Detective Petra Connor is working solo once again. Her last partner, Eric Stahl, who's also her lover, has been drafted into the new Homeland Security division of the Los Angeles Police. Then Captain Schoelkopf, who has never liked Petra, saddles her with baby-sitting the genius civilian the politicos have deposited with them.

Isaac Gomez, a young biostatistics grad student with a genius IQ, can see patterns that elude others. While searching through data, Isaac discovers a strange anomaly. Over the last decade there has been a series of head-bashing murders committed annually on June 28. After presenting his findings to an initially skeptical Petra, Isaac convinces her to take a closer look.

Nothing other then the date and manner of death tie the killings together, but Petra soon believes that Isaac is onto something. But tracking down the facts on these cold cases isn't easy—and with June 28 only days away, the clock is ticking.

With so many pieces to this convoluted puzzle, Kellerman's latest psychological suspense tale is hugely intriguing. When it comes to developing characters with complex and twisted motivations, no one does it better. (Dec., 372 pp., $26.95)
Reviewed by: 
Jonathan Kellerman