Doubleday, May 20 2008, $24.95
As a white Halloween hits Minnesota, the lone FBI Agent in St. Paul, Bernadette Saint Clare ponders the deaths of six female college students in the past few months. There were four watery deaths either in the Mississippi or in bath tubs at the University of Minnesota Minneapolis campus while two perished in water at the University of Wisconsin at La Crosse. Though there is no evidence linking the six deaths or of foul play, she wonders if these so called troubled coeds were murdered by a clever serial killer.
Deciding to follow up on her intuition especially in light of the bathtub drownings, Bernadette visits the University of Minnesota to question the students, faculty and staff to learn whet they know about victims Kyra Klein and Shelby Hammond. She with the help of her superior find two connections between the six dead; a strong one involving uncooperative psychiatrist Dr. Luke Von-Hader who fears family law suits and less likely that of an uncooperative professor who had several in his classes, but no evidence either or both is a killer. Playing her hunch that at least one is, Bernadette turns to her “mentor”, dead FBI Agent Creed for help.
The second FBI Agent Saint Clare thriller (see BLIND SPOT) is an engaging serial killer investigative tale starring an interesting lead charcater. The inquiry is fun to follow as the star struggles with simply connecting the dots beyond age, gender, and water to make a case that a serial killer is loose. Entertaining as the storyline is, the paranormal subplot comes from out of jarringly nowhere with no explanation why or how she has a “wireless” ghostly contact to assist her. Still fans of FBI serial killer investigations will enjoy Terri Persons’ solid police procedural.