by Karen Rose
: A dark secret keeps Chicago assistant state's attorney Kristen Mayhew as tightly wound as the springy red curls she works to pin down. Meals at the nearby diner, sleepless nights renovating her empty house and days in court where the bad guy more often than not doesn't face justice make up her life—until she finds the bodies of three criminals she failed to convict in the trunk of her car. Each dead body comes accompanied by a sinister letter, the writer informing "Dearest Kristen" that justice has been done on her behalf. An unusual twist for a suspense novel, to be sure, but because the murderer preys on rapists, gang members and pedophiles, Rose'strademark tentacles of fear never fully extend (as they did in her earlier books, Don't Tell and Have You Seen Her). Instead, this book's greatest strength lies in the romance between Kristen and handsome detective Abe Reagan, who's still reeling from the death of his wife. Abundant side characters, including Abe's entire jovial clan, clutter the plot and diminish the story's tension, especially when minor players suddenly step forward to play major roles. But readers will appreciate Rose's sensitive portrayal of Kristen's hesitancy to trust and Abe's gentle perseverance in uncoiling the vibrant woman within.
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