This time out, I have Lorie O'Clare's Tall Dark and Deadly (St. Martin's). Grace Jordan has escaped her painful past with a man who controlled her every move, still scarred mentally, but she's made a new life for herself in the sleepy Rockville, South Dakota as the new lieutenant on the small town's police force. She doesn't expect vicious crime to follow her there, but it does, when local young women start to be raped and killed, and it seems as if the killer is taunting Grace personally. FBI agent Justin Reece comes to town after someone in the local police department tells the press they have a serial killer on the loose. Justin and Grace butt heads right from the start, but they also share an intense attraction that gets in the way of their joint investigation. Trouble is, the killer isn't inclined to share, and he intends for Grace to suffer. A lot. This one had a lot of potential, but from the start, it's pretty clear where the story is going. Grace thinks she's put her past behind her, but there are some too-obvious clues throughout the early part of the story that tell even readers who aren't fully engaged exactly what's going to happen here. Then there is the relationship between Grace and Justin: with her previous experiences, it's nearly impossible to believe that she would feel the way she does about a man like Justin. I was really disappointed with this one, I'm afraid. It read at times like a first draft you might see in a writers' critique group, before all the details are fine-tuned, and the plot problems hammered out. This one had only earned two of Cupid's five arrows.
Until next time, happy reading!