The markedly talented Louise Crawford hits the ground running with her new suspense series. This book expertly combines elements of suspense, romance and the occult to produce a highly intriguing mystery. A definite winner!

African-American Judge Alan Garoute's young wife Julia is found decapitated in their house, but her head is nowhere to be found. When Beverly Hills police detective Arthur Murray and his new partner William Kidman, aka Billy the Kid begin their investigation, they suspect a ritual killing. Julia was Haitian, and Voodoo could be involved.

Murray discovers that Julia's best friend Lyselle is actually her half sister. Why did Julia and Lyselle keep the relationship a secret? Powerful businessman Lucien Andreas also seems to be connected. Julia's head is discovered at one of Lucien's rental properties. Everyone is wary of Lucien, who claims to be a Voodoo sorcerer.

Murray discovers that Julia was poisoned with a rare toxin before she was decapitated. As far as Murray can tell, the answers to this crime may lie more than 17 years in the past on the island of Haiti.

(Feb., 275 pp., dl $4.95, dk $7.95)

Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith