Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyIn this first-rate page-turner, an apparently ordinary man, who as a child was forced to play board games with his bullying father, vents his rage in murders that seem to occur without pattern or motivation and baffle the police. LAPD Homicide detective Jessie Drake catches on to the killer's methods (to the obvious dismay of some of her male colleagues on the force), but remains powerless to predict his next move. Quick cuts from the killer's premeditations to murder scenes and to Jessie's investigation build a palpable tension. Anthony Award-winning Krich ( Till Death Do Us Part ) adds deft explorations of Jessie's failed marriage, her difficult childhood and current family relationships, subtly comparing the emotional histories of many in the cast, from criminal to cop. Recognizable characters, accelerating action and an intriguing plot combine with an open-ended resolution of Jessie's personal life to comfort readers with the suggestion of future installments. (Sept.)
Emily MeltonKrich's latest is pure formula: serial killer goes on rampage; female cop tracks killer; female cop confronts killer, cracks case, becomes heroine. But give Krich credit for supplying some unusual twists that give the tired formula new life. A series of deaths in L.A. at first appears to be caused by random heart attacks or strokes because there are no signs of violence and nothing that links the victims. But then the police find that deadly curare has been injected into the victims' veins. Enter Detective Jessica Drake, smart, pretty, and ambitious, but struggling to overcome a failed marriage, the loss of a child, and, worst of all, the physical and verbal abuse she suffered as a child. Despite her problems, though, Jessie figures out that the killer is playing a deadly version of a popular board game, discovers the clues that lead to a final, desperate confrontation with the murderer, and comes to the chilling realization that the killer, like Jessie herself, is a victim of abuse. Krich is a deft and talented writer who has taken a pedestrian plot and quite cleverly molded, twisted, and manipulated it into a suspenseful thriller.
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