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Bestseller Pike's gripping thriller pays homage to Thomas Harris's Hannibal Lecter novels, particularly in the character of FBI agent Kelly Feinman, who fills the Clarice Starling role. An unlikely law-enforcement agent, Kelly was an academic drafted by the bureau as a consultant based on her graduate thesis on mythology. Kelly puts her expertise to use on a particularly savage case, that of a man dubbed "the Acid Killer," who has sent the Feds DVDs of his sadistic murders of women he believes have been unfaithful. Her research leads her to a promising suspect, but her desire to solve the case on her own places her life in jeopardy. Pike (The Cold One) deftly interweaves this plot with the elaborate, Edmund Dantes–like revenge scheme of Matt Connor, a California man who was himself betrayed by the woman he loved. While some of the action sequences involving Kelly strain credibility, the intricate, thoughtful plot offers enough fresh variations on the serial-killer theme to keep readers turning the pages. (Feb.)Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.