When part-time preschool teacher Samantha Leiffer realizes that a stranger is stalking her and leaving her ominous notes ("YOU ARE IN DANGER"), she must figure out if he is trying to save her -- or kill her!
With post-9/11 New York City as a somber backdrop, Samantha and her live-in detective boyfriend, John Krull, are struggling to make their relationship work. John seems preoccupied, detached, and unwilling to talk about what's troubling him. The already stressed relationship is strained even further when a stranger approaches Samantha in a coffee shop and hands her a cryptic message. Further messages -- strategically placed in her purse or given to co-workers -- inform her that someone very dangerous is watching her every move. To complicate matters, Samantha's ex-boyfriend and first love, Nate Gundersen, a sex-addicted soap star, suddenly reappears in her life. But when the body of a woman who lived in Samantha's old apartment is found mutilated in the Washington Square Park fountain and then Gundersen turns up dead, Samantha realizes that the killer must be someone very close to her. All signs point to her suddenly aloof boyfriend, who has been disappearing for hours at a time. But why would he want to kill Samantha?
While You Kill Me -- the sequel to Gaylin's debut novel, Hide Your Eyes -- has all the trappings of a lighthearted amateur-sleuth mystery, Gaylin's self-assured and edgy narrative voice puts it on par with much deeper contemporary psychological thrillers. A surprisingly compelling read with an equally surprising conclusion, Gaylin's sophomore effort is highly recommended. Paul Goat Allen