Sunday, December 30, 2007

Victim- Gayle Wilson

Gayle Wilson
Mira, Feb 2008, $6.99
ISBN: 9780778323945

Sarah Patterson's life ended three years ago when someone tortured and murdered her beloved son Daniel. The police arrest Samuel Tate for that murder and others as they find concrete evidence in his van during a routine accident. However, Orleans Parish Criminal Court Judge Marlene Wexler, who always rules in favor of defendant’s rights in an exact interpretation of the law, throws out the “murder kit” that uniformed Police Officer Gateau found in Tate’s vehicle as the cop had no probable cause to search the van. She frees Tate.

As Tate leaves the courtroom, Sarah takes out a gun to kill him, but cop Mac Donovan prevents her from doing so; he warns her she would have been held on murder charges, but she says so what as she died three years ago. Tate smirks at her as he leaves by taxi.

Soon after that encounter, Sarah receives strange phone calls that she and Mac believe are from Tate, glorying in his freedom. Not long after that back door encounter, her former husband (the marriage ending when Danny died) is murdered. Once again Sarah and Mac feel Tate killed her spouse. Mac tries to protect Sarah while the FBI sets up a sting using her as bait to finally catch this diabolically clever serial killer; as they fall in love; she now has a reason to live.

VICTIM is a superb serial killer chiller that grips the audience from the moment the Judge frees Tate and never frees the reader until the final anticipated Bayou confrontation. The story line is action-packed with most scenes adding tension to this taut thriller. The cast is strong especially the lead couple and Tate. Although the romance seems out of place and reduces the spine tingling expectation of High Noon between a grieving mom and her son’s killer, fans will appreciate Gayle Wilson’s powerful novel.

Harriet Klausner