Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyThis fourth novel by the author of Ritual contains a veritable school of red herrings, which are initially intriguing but ultimately strain the novel's effect. Haunted by an incident in his past--he was forced to kill his partner, who was a serial murderer--former NYC detective Paul Devlin takes the job of police chief in a sleepy Vermont town. Another new resident is Leslie Adams, lately arrived from Philadelphia with her younger brother, seeking a quiet place where she can safely hide from her brutal husband. Blake, Vt., however, offers sanctuary neither to newcomers nor to oldtimers: a serial killer is murdering women, removing their hearts and leaving a single red rose as a ``signature.'' Heffernan's prose is pedestrian--characters are too often ``chilled''; when they speak they ``hiss'' and ``stammer.'' Yet he can construct a devious and surprising plot, and there is enough action to satisfy a devotee of martial arts. But weak characterization and Heffernan 's penchant for telling instead of showing defuse this thriller's sizzle. (Mar.)
Library Journal - Library JournalYoung, attractive Leslie Adams and little brother Robbie move to a bucolic Vermont town, hoping to escape her nasty, abusive husband. They immediately become embroiled in circumstances surrounding the gory, mutilation murder of a beautiful young woman of ``sullied'' reputation. As the murder escalates into a series, pressure falls on the ex-NYPD sheriff to incarcerate the local crazy Vietnam veteran who roams the woods. Other resident psychos and various punks, including the husband, provide constant consternation for Leslie and nerve-tingling excitement for the reader. Buckets of gore tempered by a touch of romance and humanity. Recommended.
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