A damaged former FBI profiler and P.I. is back with another pulse-pounding case in Amanda Kyle Williams "Stranger in the Room."
Keye is still struggling with her addiction to alcohol but is trying to get her career back on track, now as a P.I., and her relationship with hot Atlanta detective Aaron Rauser. Rauser asks her to take a look at his latest case, a young boy strangled. Keye's got two cases of her own - a strange one about a crematorium replacing ashes with cement and chicken feed, and a more personal one - her cousin, Miki, is sure she is being stalked. Keye is unsure; Miki is an addict too, and has had a history of emotional problems, but when she goes to investigate Miki's house and finds a body, everything changes. Strangely enough, the case of the murdered man in Miki's house and Rauser's murdered teen has some similarities. How is the killer tied to Miki? And can Keye solve the mystery before there is another murder?
I enjoyed the story about the flawed detective very much, and the profiling aspect is really interesting. The mystery with Keye's cousin and Rauser's case was great, but I wasn't sure about the need for the secondary case.
"Stranger in the Room" is published by Bantam. It is $26 and 304 pages long.
A mysterious bridge, a ghost hunter and the wild world of rock'n'roll come together in F.J. Lennon's "Devil's Gate."
Kane Pryce is in an up-and-coming band about to "make it." That is, if the lead singer, Drexel, doesn't fall off the wagon and the band can keep getting along. But Kane is suddenly pulled back into a world he used to be involved in - one of ghosts. Kane's old colleague, Ned, comes back with a case (and a price) too big for Kane to resist - the infamous Suicide Bridge in Pasadena. A rich eccentric wants Kane to use his "soul trap" a device he and Ned created to talk to ghosts and convince them to move on - to clear the bridge of ghosts. Kane could use a bit of help from his ex-girlfriend reporter Eva who also dabbled in ghost hunting with them. Kane's ghost hunting leads him to a grieving widow, Teresa, whose daughter also just committed suicide thanks to the goading of a stranger on the Internet. Who convinced her to kill herself? As Kane gets deeper into the case, and his band gets closer to making it, suddenly Eva is involved with Drex and everything around Kane seems to be falling apart. And something from the Great Beyond is helping Kane by sending songs to him, songs that are helping the band. What has he involved himself with?
This is a wild twist of supernatural and rock 'n' roll, with crazy cultists, doomed ghosts, ultimate evil and the crazy rise and fall of rock and roll bands. With a jarring pace like a speed metal song, this one will keep you racing along until the last, breathless page.
"Devil's Gate" is published by Atria. It is $15 and 386 pages long.
Amy Phelps is a longtime columnist for The Parkersburg News &?Sentinel.