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While investigating a sadistic murder, detectives are faced with the possibility of a serial killer.
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Another grisly series of sex murders, this one kicked off by the killing of D.C. paralegal Victoria Benton. The killer is into bondage, torture, and horseshoes (an icon he lipsticks on the bathroom wall)--a good fit for John Carnes, the detective heading the investigation, since he's into addictive sexual relationships himself, despite the disapproval of his partner and his guilt over neglecting his daughter. As the case unfolds, first-novelist Stone reveals via a series of overwrought vignettes from the killer's viewpoint that the perp, like Carnes, has a background of sexual abuse and humiliation. Taking a break from his compulsive series of meaningless one-night stands (most of them described for the reproving reader), Carnes, who's convinced that the killer will strike again, reaches out for help to Sex Addicts Anonymous and the chaste embraces of Vicky's former sorority roommate Becky Granite; meanwhile, sure enough, his quarry, less lucky in love, dispatches two other victims (a third is discovered from a year back in Ocean City, trademark wounds, lipstick horseshoe and all) and is obviously closing in on Becky as Carnes races platonically to her side. The whole package is presented with an unfocused intensity that might pass for professionalism if not for the amateurish handling of the killer, who would need special lighting to stand out from the wallpaper. -- Copyright ©1996, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Publishers Weekly:
Homicide Detective John Carnes of the Washington, D.C., police can't resist sleeping with every attractive woman he meets in the line of duty-a trait that creates personal angst, trouble at work and the disapproval of his seven-year-old daughter. His condition, treated seriously here as sex addiction, lends his character a depth not to be found elsewhere in this otherwise rigidly formulaic debut by a D.C.-area prosecutor. Young alumnae of the University of Maryland are turning up dead, bound and viciously tormented before being strangled. Investigating are Carnes and his Hispanic partner, supported by a host of other cops, who quip and vamp around the crime scenes to show how inured they've become to violence. These officers aren't the brightest bulbs: it takes them many plodding hours to reach some obvious conclusions about the horseshoe-shaped sign left at the murder scenes; at least one other big clue stumps them as well. In time, Carnes falls in love with a worthy if humorless young marketing manager who, ultimately and predictably, must be rescued before she becomes the killer's next victim. Stone displays an excellent knowledge of procedural matters, and his male characters are sympathetic. His women, however, are either sex kittens or so decent they're dull, and his dialogue and plotting are disappointing.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Presidio Press, 1996. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0891415904