THE ART OF EVIL by Daryn Parke


Email this review


A wounded FBI agent takes on a serial killer.

Special Agent Aurora “Rory” Travis never expected to find herself in Sarasota, Fla., living the easy life at the Ritz-Carlton with her great-aunt Hyacinth. In spite of her self-avowed psychic sense, there are an awful lot of things that Rory never foresaw, including the sudden death of her partner during an attempted takedown, which also caused her severe bodily injury, and her subsequent leave from the FBI. A suicide on the grounds of the Bellman Museum, where Rory’s taken refuge as a volunteer driver, leads her to investigate. As she asks questions, pranks escalate from harmless effigies to nearly weekly murders. Rory’s psychic sense apparently deserts her when she meets Josh Thomas, prototypical mysterious stranger and suspect. She can’t decide if hunky Thomas is a bad boy or an ally in her investigation. Ken Parrish, the local cop assigned to the case, dislikes Thomas on sight. Is that just because he doesn’t want competition for Rory’s affections? Archetypes of good and evil dance like sugarplums in Rory’s head as she gathers information from both men, never completely trusting either.

Despite occasional bursts of inspiration, Parke’s first mystery gets bogged down by abrupt shifts of time and place that would trouble even a psychic. They may be less essential in the romances (Lady Knight, 2007, etc.) she writes as Blair Bancroft.

Pub Date: June 17th, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-59414-786-9
Page count: 260pp
Publisher: Five Star
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 2009