Fifteen years after a suspicious fire gutted a Mercer Street project that budding contractor Claudia Miller lost her shirt on, Claudia, now a respected builder, is ready to take on her biggest job: a rehab that stands to generate a million-dollar profit for her to split with owner Murray Kurtz, whose brother Jack installed the windows the firefighters smashed at Mercer Street. But Mercer Street lives on in the minds of an unknown who's determined to punish each subcontractor by killing a close relative with a ghoulishly chosen bit of electrical equipment, an unknown who's already erased demolition expert Laverne Jefferson's cousin. The next victim, Claudia's kid brother Tommy, barely escapes with his life, but not before giving the killer a new idea: Instead of just executing Claudia's clueless brother, he'll force her to watch the death, getting close enough to Claudia so that he can observe her anguish firsthand. While her tormentor is warming up by eliminating those other innocent relatives, beginning of course with Murray Kurtz, Claudia's left to ponder which of the men she's recently gotten close to--brash Los Angeles writer Charlie Pastor, last-minute replacement carpenter Gary Bruno, or Ukrainian entrepreneur Mikhail Chernin--best fits the profile of the Mercer Street avenger. Except for an underwhelming unmasking, Wallace (Lost Angel, 1996, etc.) does her usual expert job of raising your blood pressure and keeping you from taking those deep, cleansing breaths.