Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Luck of the Draw-Anthony J. Cardieri

Luck of the Draw
Anthony J. Cardieri
Minotaur, Dec 8 2009, $24.99
ISBN: 9780312565022

In 1977 the Son of Sam held New York City in a grip of terror not seen since until now with the Daily Killer. Detective Deke Durgess leads the homicide investigation in which the perp kills an entire household every day; this varies from couples, singles, and families with children. Deke is determined to end this serial killer’s reign of terror, but has no starting point as there appears no link between the seemingly randomly murdered victims and nothing left behind for forensics.

The psychopath is diabolically clever gaining entrance through a variety of means such as delivering flowers and candy to the victims and then killing them.. He leaves behind each time a taunting note to the cops: “Better luck next time”. The Feds try to profile the Daily Killer and FBI Agent Kurt Joseph joins Deke on the investigation. They become a strong team though progress still remains nil. Deke listens to Kurt call his wife and daughter; which makes him realize he wants to get back with his spouse who left him because he always put the job before his family. The two cops finally figure out how the victims are selected, but the culprit remains unknown as a sting fails because the Daily Killer outwits his adversaries.

This is a chilling police procedural starring a cop who failed to appreciate his family even after he lost them, but finally realizes what he has given away when he observes his new partner who balances cases with his loved ones. He is unlike Deke who blocks out everything but the investigation. He actually is a likable person and readers will hope he has learned his lesson of balancing priorities to include family at the top. However, it is the desperate investigation that will have the audience at the edge of their seats even with the psychopath a graduate of the overused taunting school of serial killer 101.

Harriet Klausner