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In this well-crafted thriller from Braver (Flashback), Lt. Steve Markarian, a Boston police detective with marital and alcohol problems, investigates the strangling death of Terry Farina, whose naked body was found in her bedroom with no signs of a struggle or sexual activity. Is it suicide, accident or murder? Teasing flashbacks to the 1970s chronicle the incestuous ordeal of a disturbed New Hampshire boy at the hands (and breasts) of his sexy, Bible-thumping stepmother. An extraneous subplot concerns Markarian's possible role in the first murder he investigates. More compelling is the relationship Markarian's wife, Dana, develops with a plastic surgeon, Aaron Monks, who enters her life just as the Markarians are contemplating divorce. The pace accelerates toward a climax whose revelations of extensive evildoing may strike some readers as farfetched. Still, fans of psychological suspense with a medical angle will be amply rewarded. (July)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.