A small-town sheriff has her hands full with a vicious serial killer.
Perry Hollow, Pa., has never had a murder of its own until a corpse is discovered in a coffin on the side of the road. George Winnick was a farmer with no enemies. Nor did he need any. When a state police team arrive, they announce that he is just one more victim of the Betsy Ross Killer. The team is led by Nick Donnelly, a man driven to hunt down murderers by the unsolved death of his sister. Once the autopsy is completed, significant differences from the past killings come to light, from the sewing together of the victim’s lips to the surgical precision of the cut to his neck where the artery was used to remove all his blood and replace it with embalming fluid. In addition, Henry Goll, the enigmatic writer of obits for the local paper, was faxed a death notice before the actual time of Winnick’s decease. When a second, similar murder follows, Donnelly’s team is responsible for the case. But Sheriff Kat Campbell, realizing that the killer is a Perry Hollow local, can’t help but be involved. When Henry rushes to her with a third pre-mortem fax, they manage to rescue the intended victim but still don’t have enough clues to uncover a ruthless killer before he strikes again.
Journalist Ritter has enough experience with both crime and obituaries to pen a convincingly blood-soaked debut novel.