Monday, October 6, 2008

Dead Ringer-Mary Burton

Dead Ringer
Mary Burton
Zebra, Nov 2008, $6.99
ISBN: 1420100270

In Henrico County, Virginia women who look similar to popular Richmond TV news anchor Kendall Shaw are being murdered. Next to each victim the serial killer leaves a charm bearing a single female name that makes no sense to the police.

Homicide detective Jacob Warwick recognized the similarity when he saw the first victim and wonders if the murdered females are practice runs before the psychopath comes after Kendall. Last year he rescued her from the abduction of his adopted father though she took a bullet anyway. He vows to keep her safe even as she insists she is not the target of a maniac while she investigates the serial killer homicides and the police efforts to catch him.

The romance between the cop and the journalist takes a needed back seat (comes on towards the end) to the strong whodunit as both are attracted to one another but argue over her safety. The story line is fast-paced from the moment Jacob makes his connection and never slows down as Mary Burton cleverly keeps the audience wondering who of her two prime suspects is actually the serial killer.

Harriet Klausner