Neither of her latest suitors is exactly what he seems. Ultrapersistent Nathan Sloane doesn’t quite measure up to his yuppie image: He has no home phone, and his purported employer, Global Investment, has never heard of him. Homicide detective Bryce Keating, on the other hand, repeatedly shows more sensitivity than his little-black-book reputation would warrant. But the real reason Kali O’Brien spends so little time worrying about her men isn’t her latest romantic disaster (Witness for the Defense, 2001) but her current forensic nightmare: Only months after the execution of Dwayne Arnold Davis for the Bayside Strangler murders, new corpses start appearing, dolled up in slutwear and strategically placed next to trash bins, just as the Strangler’s were. It’s bad enough that the first new victim is Anne Bailey, who worked with Kali on the team that prosecuted Davis. Worse yet, the media, led by reporter Jack Jackson, are all over the case. But worst of all, Kali’s former boss, Alameda county DA Owen Nelson, is running for governor, and can’t afford to have the public think that he might have executed the wrong man. An investigation that threatens to stop Nelson’s political career cold may be just as deadly for Kali, as she follows the dangerous trail of someone with too much inside information to be just another serial killer. Intriguing possibilities narrowed down by solid detection will keep readers guessing to the end.
Concentrating on the classic elements—mystification and surprise—puts Jacobs right up there with the big guns.