Tanz’s (Silk on the Rocks, 2012, etc.) latest thriller follows a female serial killer, the killer’s pursuing detectives and the strange links between them in the author’s third installment of his Philadelphia-based crime series.
Jaime Valle is that classic girl next door—she’s attractive, holds a middle-class job as a dental technician and maintains friendships with neighbors and co-workers. Behind that facade, however, lies a crafty, aggressive mind that is bent on avenging her husband’s death. Valle’s target is the health-insurance company that failed to approve her husband’s surgery for a heart condition. The widow’s seemingly amiable nature is the ideal cover as she plots the murders of two people who work for the insurance company—all while continuing to show up for work and lunch dates. Meanwhile, a fellow assassin and familiar character within Tanz’s series, Julian Gando, attempts to go underground and start a new life within the witness protection program. Whether he’s describing the chilly winter nights in Philly or the humid days in Florida, the author creates compelling, well-told stories about the tango between cops and criminals. This book’s most interesting relationship may be between brothers Stephen and Michael Davis, two police detectives for whom love and brotherhood are hard to understand and find. Michael, whose war injuries force him to use a wheelchair, is the book’s most sympathetic character as he tries to understand his more successful brother, his budding fascination with Jaime Valle and his allegiance to the police force, which has named Valle as its top suspect. Tanz keeps his writing focused and smooth, offering in-depth details of police investigations, strong character development and fast-paced conversations among his complex and flawed heroes.
A frenetic thriller with nuanced characters and a twist.