After four true-crime books (A Descent into Hell: The True Story of an Altar Boy, a Cheerleader, and a Twisted Texas Murder, 2008, etc.), Casey crosses over into fiction for the tale of a Texas Ranger tracking a serial killer.
Lt. Sarah Armstrong is a recent widow, a single mom, one of only two female Texas Rangers and, it follows, smart as a whip and whipcord tough. She’s also the Rangers’s sole criminal profiler. Headquartered in Houston, she’ll saddle up and go wherever—Galveston, for instance, to check out a bizarre double homicide with ramifications. The victims, a man and woman, were murdered, then artfully posed in the nude as if illicit coitus had been suddenly interrupted. Inevitably, the murders of real-estate magnate Edwin Travis Lucas and Annmarie Knowles, his gorgeous, much younger lawyer/mistress, have the media slavering. Sarah’s colleagues don’t react any more becomingly. In a mad rush to judgment, Edwin’s widow Priscilla is arrested and charged with hiring a hit man. The most damning piece of evidence against her seems to be a $100,000 withdrawal from her personal bank account that she declines to explain. Meanwhile, the serial killer, now cleverly identified by Sarah as a religious fanatic bent on punishing a variety of transgressions, piles up the sinners. Sarah finally cools his act, but not without a series of traumatic experiences, few of which will take readers by surprise.
Slow and on occasion irritatingly predictable. Truth may be easier than fiction.