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Music professor Brady launches into her romantic suspense debut with a woman's torture-murder at the hands of clever but crazy serial killer Chevy Bankes. Using the dead woman's phone, he calls Beth Denison, who is haunted by seven years of secrets and terror, and threatens Beth's daughter, Abby. As Bankes continues roaming the Seattle area and torturing women to death, Neil Sheridan, a burned-out ex-FBI agent, joins the investigation through a connection to one of Bankes's earlier murders. Beth and Neil share emotional damage and attraction, revealing their secrets at a lugubrious pace. Their mutual unmasking parallels the desperate dig for clues, but as they race to find Bankes, he invades Beth's home to lie in wait. Snappy dialogue, good police procedural details and twisty psychology create white-hot tension that thriller fans will love, overwhelming the slow, bare-bones romance. (July)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.