In Mariah Stewart's pulse-pounding Final Truth, a convicted rapist/murderer named Lester Ray Barnes, with only months to live before execution by lethal injection, finds grounds for a possible reprieve: The lab technician that handled his DNA testing has admitted to fabricating results. With the help of media attention fueled by true crime writer Regan Landry, who is contemplating basing her next book on the controversial Barnes case, the wholly unlikable criminal walks free -- only to disappear when a sexually motivated killing spree begins in earnest in North Carolina. With the help of boyfriend and FBI agent Mitch Peyton, Landry slowly starts to sort out the series of brutal murders, all of which clearly resemble the crime that landed Barnes on death row in the first place. Has Landry unknowingly freed a serial killer? And, if so, how can he be stopped?
The last installment in Stewart's Truth series (Cold Truth, Hard Truth, et al.) -- a quartet of loosely related but stand-alone novels -- will have readers guessing about the identity of the killer until the very end (which, by the way, features a bombshell of a disclosure regarding Regan's past!). Suspense fans who enjoy their novels mixed with a little romance should definitely check out this addictively readable and utterly entertaining saga. Can you handle the truth? Of course you can! Paul Goat Allen