Die for Me
Grand Central, Sep 2007, $6.99
In Philadelphia, Warren Keyes wakes up to the smell of disinfectant ammonia, his hands and feet tied up, and little light coming from a torch on the wall of what he believes is a cave. Panicking until he hears the voice of Ed Munch, who informs him to drink some water because he needs his throat wet when his prisoner begins screaming.
Eight days later Police Detectives Vito Ciccotelli and Nick Lawrence lead the homicide investigation into what looks like a religious ritual murder of a Jane Doe found in a nearby field. Knowing they need special help as they dig for potentially other bodies, PPD brings in archeologist Sophie Johannsen, who realizes, as she sees the victims’ remains, the culprit was torturing them with medieval inquisition gadgets. Vito admires Sophie's intelligence but also is attracted to her. Meanwhile the killings continue as the culprit seeks the perfect scream from death to make his next video game seem virtually real, but needs one more expendable person to be his warrior queen; perhaps a brilliant medieval archeologist will do.
From the opening killer sequence to the climax, DIE FOR ME is an exhilarating action-packed serial killer police procedural with a romantic subplot that feels a bit out of place although it adds to the tension as the murders turn personal for Vito. The story line is fast-paced and filled with twists in a deadly triangle as the killer sets up the final scream being the archeologist. Karen Rose provides another terrific suspense thriller.