Because he's the kind of can-do guy who responds to screams outside his apartment by looking out the window and rushing into the street instead of dialing 911 or pulling down the shades, Channel 8 newswriter Michael Carpo (Flesh and Stone, 1997) gets a glimpse of the trench-coated figure fleeing from still-alive Irene Foster, the neighbor who discovered flight attendant Cheryl Street's gruesome murder. Even though Carpo can't identify the fleeing man any more definitely than fellow-witness Tommy Abilene can, the cops are especially interested in working with him because for over a year the Sandman has been butchering brown-eyed women and cutting out their eyes. So it's no wonder the police offer to give him exclusive access to Cheryl's hush-hush funeral--a kindness that backfires in the biggest of this anemic novel's few surprises. For the most part, though, Carpo puts in his time trudging from door to door interviewing Cheryl's unforthcoming neighbors for a profile he's writing of the Sandman's latest murder. Concentrating on the sixth victim of a serial killer is a tactic that would never yield a break in real life, of course; here, at least (and at most), it jump-starts a romance with Irene Foster. Despite Carpo's Everyman appeal, a humdrum entry in the serial-killer genre.