Two severed arms in the Chicago morgue linked by her own handcuffs puts Lt. Jacqueline Daniels on the track of another serial killer as sadistic as the Gingerbread Man (Whiskey Sour, 2004) and even more resourceful.
Aspirin doesn’t help with every headache. Sometimes even half a dozen ibuprofen aren’t enough to get rid of all the pain. But Jack Daniels’s latest quarry has found a miraculous cure in homicide, the bloodier the better. Relief is as fast as nudging an isolated pedestrian, bundling her into his car, and taking her to his plastic-covered lair for biting, burning, slashing and strangling. A mortician accomplice helps him hide the evidence. Even so, it’s not long before Jack and her partner, Det. Herb Benedict, have him in their sights, and that’s when the fun really begins. In an infernal parody of Law & Order, the killer submits an outrageous, unstoppable not-guilty plea and vows to Jack that the moment he’s free he’ll come after her and her loved ones. That roster now includes not only Jack’s boyfriend, accountant Latham Conger, but her mother and her ex-husband Alan Daniels, both suddenly and awkwardly back in her life. Looks like a lot of target opportunities.
Konrath keeps the proceedings moving so briskly that you may not even notice how many corpses are piling up—over a dozen, with plenty more in the backstory. But you’ll certainly remember how brutally they’re dispatched.