This absorbing tale has short forays into the thoughts of secondary characters, which add interest. But the way the murderer's thoughts are presented can be irritating. Still, the revelation of the characters' pasts and the reasons for
their thoughts and actions are believable, and Molly's character is well formed.

When 8-year-old Molly witnesses her mother's murder, she stops talking. Haley returns to her hometown to care for her niece and discover who killed her sister. With the help of the police, her sister's neighbors and psychologist Grey Banes, she tries to help Molly build a new life and reveal what she saw the day her mother was killed.

Haley is drawn to Grey, who has his own tragic past to deal with. Another murder takes place, and a serial killer may be at work, but it's not until a grisly warning turns up on her back porch that Haley makes a breakthrough with Molly. Will it be too little, too late to stop another killing? (Signet Eclipse, Dec., 336 pp., $6.99)
Reviewed by: 
Susan Mobley