A vengeful serial killer stirs (and shakes) Jack Daniels to action.
Liquor is no quicker than Lieutenant Jacqueline (Jack) Daniels whenever a beset and jittery Chicago needs a lift. Maybe that’s why Jack gets the nod in the case of the wacko with the botulism dispenser. “The people of Chi-Town love you,” says her boss in the face of Jack’s noticeable disenchantment. “You’ll be giving hope to the hopeless.” So she signs on. But Jack’s right to be leery. To begin with, the case bears all the marks of a career-breaker. Beyond that, the self-described Chemist is as scary a serial killer as ever followed in the footsteps of Hannibal Lecter. His ultimatum to the city fathers: $2 million, or botulism for your babies. As if threats of plague weren’t enough, there are galling complexities on the home front. Latham, Jack’s otherwise adorable boyfriend, has proposed matrimony at a time when Jack’s hair and makeup haven’t been checked for hours. In addition, Jack is working with an FBI agent so hot that although she’s charged with saving Chicago from mass murder, she can’t keep herself from staring at his crotch. And don’t ask what’s going on with her long-lost father, whose reported death may be greatly exaggerated.
In the past, Konrath has done creditable work (Rusty Nail, 2006, etc.), but here the prose ranges from careless to wretched, and the plot demands a breathalyzer.