by Mariah Stewart

August 2005
ISBN: 0-345-47665-4
Reviewer Graphic Button Ballantine Books
Mass Market Paperback

Cassie Burkeís childhood was abruptly ended when her entire family was murdered and she barely escaped with her own life. With the help of her aunt, uncle, and cousin Lucy, Cassie has grown into a beautiful woman. Her job as a homicide cop allows her the opportunity to help others and to put the bad guys behind bars.

When a woman shows up dead on Bowers Street, Cassie is called to the scene. However in a matter of days it becomes apparent that this first brutal murder was no random crime. More beautiful brunette women begin to turn up dead not only in Cassieís jurisdiction, but in surrounding towns. Soon letters are mailed to the chief of police leading everyone to believe The Bayside Strangler who terrorized the area twenty-six years ago has returned.

Cassie finds herself the only detective in town when her coworker leaves to return to his hometown. When it seems the bodies are beginning to multiply with no firm clues to a suspect, FBI Agent Rick Cisco arrives in town. Cassie quickly realizes she needs all the help she can get as it seems these new murders might be linked to that of her own family. Even thought that killer was apprehended and sent to prison where he eventually died.

If Mariah Stewart did not already earn a legion of fans with her previous suspense trilogy, she certainly has now. This premiere in her new summer/fall trilogy quickly grabs the readerís attention and holds on tight.

Stewart is a professional when it comes to blending the perfect amounts of suspense with the right touch of romance. Her stories are not only believable but also addicting. Readers will had a hard time waiting for the second story Hard Truth to hit the store Shelves.

Reviewed in September 2005 by Shelby.

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