Publishers Weekly - Publishers WeeklyA consensual union between a lustful young lady and a nameless stud kicks off this clunky thriller by Jaffe (Bad Girl, etc.), in which a serial killer taunts the FBI with clues to his next murder. After the sweaty prelude, Imogen Page, an FBI special agent with a rare gift of synthesis-a mingling of the senses that renders her empathetic to the motivations of others, even criminals-is called to Las Vegas, where noted nuclear physicist Dr. Rosalind Carnow is missing from her hotel, presumably kidnapped. A collage rather than a ransom note tells authorities she's in the hands of the "Hide and Seek Killer," aka Loverboy: as usual, he gives them two and a half weeks to solve a dozen or more riddles and find the victim before he kills her. It's a game this wily, sadistic killer has won five times before. Imogen, though still grieving the sudden death of her beloved only brother, is persuaded to take the case. Her path immediately crosses that of charismatic multimillionaire automaker Benton Arbor, Carnow's longtime platonic best friend. Benton is determined to solve the case his way, and he and Imogen vie with each other for control, even as they fall for each other. Fast-paced action distracts the reader from stiff writing (" `So you-the police-have nothing,' Benton summed up"), and the killer's identity, when finally revealed, defies credibility, leaving the reader with a bad case of morning-after malaise. Agent, Susan Ginsberg. (June 1) Forecast: Loverboy will be sold shrink-wrapped back to back with Jaffe's previous thriller Bad Girl; the two books together are priced at $14.95. The rock-bottom offer might seduce readers, but the value-to-price ratio could be better. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus ReviewsFBI agent Imogen Page tracks a lady-killing sicko in a by-the-numbers thriller. Loverboy-self-styled-likes playing games. He has this ongoing one with the FBI, in which some two and a half weeks before striking, he gives the feebies a chance to forestall him. In the mail, they receive a custom-built collage containing oh-so-cleverly devised clues to a prospective crime scene. If they can somehow manage to untangle the what and where of it, Loverboy, good sport that he professes to be, agrees to back off. On five previous occasions he hasn't had to, and now the damsel in distress is that world-class nuclear physicist Dr. Rosalind Carnow. Not only is she a notable in her own right, but she happens to be the intimate friend of an even more prominent celeb, the handsome, dashing Benton Walsingham Arbor, head of Arbor Motors. Hard-pressed, the FBI turns to Special Agent Imogen Page, young star of the FBI's equally young Cognitive Science Unit. She's been grieving over the death of her beloved brother, but these are desperate times. "You're the best the Bureau's got," moans one of her bosses, an assessment Imogen, who knows her own worth, is not inclined to dispute. Smart, tough, and cute as a button is Imogen; no wonder, then, that Benton Arbor soon joins the universe of males hopelessly smitten. In this number include even Loverboy himself, although his pash for Imogen is undercut with dollops of hate, or what else is a crime fiction serial killer for? Sixteen days, to be precise, from riddle to riddance (of Rosalind) if Imogen can't decode Loverboy's hieroglyphs. Will she succeed where everyone else in the Bureau has failed so miserably? Are you kidding?On all-too-familiar ground, Jaffe (TheWater Nymph, 2000, etc.) marches to the sound of the same old hum-drummer.
- Random House Publishing Group
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- 5.48(w) x 8.28(h) x 1.90(d)
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