Rape, incest, serial murder, mutilation, and patricide disrupt the pleasant life of a popular Manhattan columnist and his wife--in a first novel from N.Y.C. writer Weaver. Relaxing graciously in the backyard of their upstate New York vacation home, Paul and Emily Garret generously invite a handsome young hiker to stop for refreshments and an architectural analysis of their antique hideaway. While very charming and thoroughly qualified to date the building, the straight-toothed, sun- worshiping, outdoorsy William Meade is also, alas, a skilled serial murderer with a sideline in brutal rape. It is Emily's last weekend getaway in this life, but Paul, shot twice in the head by the detail-minded Meade, survives this rudest of guests and dedicates himself to Meade's identification and appropriate punishment. Teaming with a Poughkeepsie cop, Garret identifies Meade from mug- shots and begins to use his Times column as a weapon to flush Meade out. Intrigued by the chase, Meade stays in touch with Garret, calling him from pay phones, sending him the odd package, always letting Garret know that he's nearby and that Garret hasn't seen the last of him. Meanwhile, Meade carries on the business of serial murder and violent rape. Garret chats up Meade's Attica cellmate and learns that Meade has been a lunatic since he was a child. He also chats up Garret's sexy parole officer and begins an affair. Meade, to no one's surprise, turns his creepy sights on the parole officer, with whom he thought he had an understanding. His awfully protective mum contemplates action of her own.... Gory, manipulative, perfectly paced vacation reading.