Illinois state cop Elizabeth Taylor Hewitt takes on another serial killer—or is it two serial killers?
Things would be bad enough for any police department forced to deal with the Wayside Killer, who ambushes young women outdoors, knocks them out and injects a lethal dose of Ketamine under their toenails. But Capt. Richard Lattimore, who can’t wait to leap from the Illinois State Police to politics, also has a second string of homicides on his hands: middle-aged men strangled with nylon stockings. Much as he’d like to hog the glory of catching the person or persons unknown, he needs the expertise that made Hewitt such a celebrity (For Edgar, 2005)—and that means restless days and sleepless nights for Hewitt. Rusch is too intent on reviewing Hewitt’s traumatic history and cataloguing the ritualistic details of the victims’ deaths to develop much interest in any suspects, but once a brainwave leads Hewitt to a Chicago radio station whose classical-music broadcasts evidently provide the soundtrack for the mayhem, it’s only a matter of time, corpses and endless crosscutting before the ISP closes in on a killer hiding behind a criminal scheme as nasty and inventive as it is unbelievable.
Apart from Hewitt, the only characters who register are the heavy-breathing villain, whose dire deeds are presented from his point of view, and the ten victims, most of whose last moments are embalmed in hothouse prose.