Beautiful and ruthless television reporter Suzanne Shepard made her name by airing brutal celebrity gossip and earned a roster of high-profile enemies in the process. But her own murder was more than a scandal . . . it was a horror show.
At first glance, the mutilated corpse lying still in the Manhattan rain bears all the earmarks of a random sex slaying. But federal prosecutor Melanie Vargas knows that too many people wanted Suzanne Shepard dead for her murder to have been a coincidence.
Sifting through the scandals that fueled the dead reporter's career keeps Melanie from obsessing about her own intense affair with sexy FBI agent Dan O'Reilly. But Melanie's own murder may be the next one to make headlines, now that blood-chilling e-mails are arriving from an anonymous "admirer" who knows far too much about the Shepard slaying . . . and about Melanie's every move.
The brutal rape and murder of Suzanne Shepard, a scandal-mongering New York City TV journalist, provides a welcome high-profile case for Melanie Vargas in Martinez's stellar third thriller to feature the sharp and sexy federal prosecutor (after The Finishing School). Melanie accompanies her boyfriend, FBI agent Dan O'Reilly, to the grisly crime scene in Central Park, where someone, later dubbed the Central Park Butcher, has carved "bitch" into the victim's stomach with a hunting knife. In the ensuing joint state-federal investigation, Dan, Melanie and NYPD detective Julian Hay pursue a number of slippery suspects, including a well-known politician who the media claim is getting special treatment. Then Melanie starts receiving threatening e-mails. Could it be the same guy who stalked Shepard, or a celebrity cosmetic surgeon, a fitness trainer who also deals drugs, or a suspicious witness? Martinez, herself a former federal prosecutor, supplies plenty of insider savvy as she juggles the large cast with élan. (Mar.)Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.