The psycho du jour is the Curare Killer, whose victims--there are nearly a dozen by the final fade-out--are determined by the moves in a popular board game that his nemesis, Detective Jessie Drake, dopes out a third of the way through Krich's hardcover debut. The use of the game-playing pattern passes belief, but it's more ingenious and compelling than anything else here. The police procedure and the suspense created by that other game between author and reader are competent enough, but the revelation that the killer was psychologically abused by his father is compounded by the news that Jessie was abused by her father too. Even the nephew who's visiting her has been abused--and Jessie's slowness in picking up the clues here doesn't bode well for her later career. Clever in its central conceit, though otherwise forgettable.