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ACQUIRED MOTIVES by Sarah Lovett

ACQUIRED MOTIVES

By Sarah Lovett

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-679-43560-3
Publisher: Villard

 Forensic psychologist Sylvia Strange (Dangerous Attachments, 1995) tackles a vigilante who's executing unpunished rapists and murderers. Sylvia's current nightmare--you really wouldn't want to have this woman's dreams--begins when she's forced to testify on behalf of sadistic rapist Anthony Randall, who promptly walks when New Mexico state cop Erin Tulley, whose sexual-favoritism grievance has just been dismissed, testifies that he was non compos when he confessed. But somebody called the Killer, who's just waiting to redress this miscarriage of justice, kidnaps, terrorizes, emasculates, and sets Randall ablaze. An isolated nutcase, thinks Sylvia, until FBI agent Dan Chaney, still grieving over a shootout in Las Cruces that left his colleague and clandestine lover Nina Valdez dead, digs up evidence that links gunrunner Dupont White to Randall's killing, and at least one earlier experiment in homemade justice, and Sylvia begins to get phone calls, alternately piteous and threatening, from Dupont. The case would be perfect, if only Dupont hadn't been killed in Las Cruces too. But since he's dead (he is dead, isn't he?), why is the killer aping him, and who's crazy enough to try? Incredibly, almost the entire cast seems to qualify, from Dupont's psychotic girlfriend, Violet Miller, to his disturbed aunt, Jilly White, to self-styled psychic Benji Mu┬žoz y Concha, frightened into catatonia by the Killer's handiwork, to erratic Dan Chaney to strung-out Sylvia herself, who tells her lover, state cop Matt England, to arrest and cuff her: ``I always need to understand, to evaluate every-fucking-thing and get inside it until I'm crazy.'' Long before Sylvia, skittering from one overgalvanized scene to the next, ends up identifying the Killer by uncovering the long-ago activities of the legendary Gentleman's Club, you'll be ready to sign commitment papers for the whole crew. A rip-roaring story done nearly to death by an overload of crazies on both sides of the law. (Author tour)