From Publishers Weekly
Smooth prose, psychological depth and crafty plotting lift bestseller Iles's latest suspense thriller, which puts a fresh twist on a familiar theme-the cat-and-mouse game between an FBI agent and a fiendishly-clever serial killer. One personal tragedy after another has struck Alexandra Morse, a rising star in the FBI who specializes in hostage negotiation: her father's shooting death in a robbery, her mother's diagnosis of advanced ovarian cancer, and a misstep on the job that left her face scarred and a fellow agent dead. Now Alex's sister, Grace, lies dying in a Jackson, Miss., hospital after suffering a stroke. Alex arrives from Washington just in time to hear Grace say that her husband has murdered her. After Grace's death, Alex learns that Dr. Eldon Tarver, a brilliant scientist in need of funds for research into developing a biological superweapon, has teamed with a Mississippi divorce attorney who offers select clients the opportunity to avoid a protracted court fight by arranging for their spouses to die. When Alex identifies the next intended victim, Dr. Chris Shepard, she goes undercover as one of the idealistic doctor's patients and soon finds herself in a race against Tarver as well as her own superiors, who have not sanctioned her investigation. This pulse-pounder is sure to be another bestseller for Iles (Turning Angel).
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The new novel by the author of, among others, Mortal Fear
(1996), 24 Hours
(2000), and (most recently) Turning Angel
begins with a big surprise. Dr. Chris Shepard, a doctor in Natchez, Mississippi (where the author lives), is visited by an FBI agent who tells him two things: a local divorce lawyer has a series of clients whose spouses have all died suspiciously, and Dr. Shepard's wife paid this lawyer a visit about a week ago. Now agent Alex Morse wants Dr. Shepard to help her trap a killer. If Iles has a trademark, a single literary feature that identifies him, it's his intriguing, ordinary-people-in-extraordinary-situations premises that hook readers immediately, forcing us to read on. How will Chris Shepard, a successful doctor in a seemingly happy marriage, react to the news that his wife may be planning to have him killed? Will Alex Morse, the deeply troubled FBI agent (she's still recovering from her own brush with death), confuse professional responsibility with personal interest? Before you know it, you've reached the last page, and you're all out of breath--but you've had one hell of a ride. Plot-driven
is too often used as a pejorative term; Iles shows the other side. David PittCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved