Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Devil’s Closet-Stacy Dittrich

The Devil’s Closet
Stacy Dittrich
Leisure, Oct 2008, $7.99
ISBN: 9780843961591

Richland Metropolitan Police Department Detective CeeCee Gallagher specializes in juvenile sex crimes and homicides. Her clearance record is near perfect because she never gives up and constantly pushes herself beyond the limit; she does not want to hold herself responsible for the death of a child due to her being too slow to catch the predator.

An Amber Alert goes out when Hannah Peltrew disappears from her yard; another child witnessed a man grabbing her and putting her in a car. Hannah is found dead in the filed of an Amish farmer; she was dressed up like a doll and obviously tortured before being killed. The FBI investigates with Agent in Charge Michael Haerman leading the case. CeeCee has not seen him in a year, but still loves him although she chose to stay with her husband who might be having an affair with his trainee. Another child is reported missing and soon afterward found dead; as with Hannah she was made up and posed like a doll. Michael and CeeCee work as a team to end the horrific killing spree, but also know they remain attracted to one another. Meanwhile the serial killer taunts CeeCee sending her clues in a cat and mouse game with another youngster’s life on the line.

This first CeeCee Gallagher police procedural is a terrific thriller mostly due to the dedicated lead character, who is tough yet vulnerable because she cares. Although the serial killer taunting the cops with clues is old, fans will feel this predator is as amorally evil as Lector is. The romance between the two cops adds depth to a strong tale that will frighten readers with what happens to the innocent young.

Harriet Klausner

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