Masterman’s gangbusters debut sets a retired FBI agent who thinks she’s seen it all against a serial killer who provides new horrors she’s never seen.
Before shooting an unarmed suspect back in Georgia sent her into early retirement in Tucson, Brigid Quinn had earned a reputation as a brave sex-crimes undercover agent and a skilled investigator. Now that she’s living the good life with her bridegroom, Carlos DiForenza, a priest turned professor, she thinks that’s all behind her, from the adrenaline rushes to the scandal. But she couldn’t be more wrong. When long-haul trucker Floyd Lynch confesses to being the Route 66 killer who killed eight women over a dozen years—the eighth of them being Jessica Robertson, who’d been working as bait under Brigid’s supervision—Laura Coleman, a Tucson FBI agent who’s always admired Brigid, shares her suspicion that Lynch’s confession is bogus and asks Brigid to work the case with her. There are only three complications: Brigid isn’t entitled to work any cases anymore; Coleman disappears shortly after getting eased off the case herself; and Brigid shortly has her hands full covering up her own killing of murderous rapist Gerald Peasil. Readers who can accept the coincidence of two sex killers sharing the same zip code and Brigid’s unconvincing explanation of why she doesn’t just report Peasil’s death, which would manifestly be covered by a self-defense plea, are in for a ride as thrilling as they can find outside the pages of Jeffery Deaver (who’s regularly invoked here), in the company of a heroine whose cleareyed disillusionment gives each wisecrack a trembling sense of mortality.
A scorching, humane first novel that reads as if Masterman’s been sitting for a long time on some truly ugly secrets.