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Starred Review. 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 © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
What tough, streetwise federal prosecutor Melanie Vargas wants more than anything--well, almost anything--is a break from high-profile cases. What she gets instead is a dead television reporter, a shady Park Avenue doctor, and an anonymous e-mail stalker who seems very determined to get Melanie off the case. Oh, and her relationship with FBI agent Dan O'Reilly is heating up, but can she find a few moments in her busy schedule for love? Author Martinez, a former federal prosecutor, handles the mystery elements of the novel very well, although some readers might find the romance subplot more than a little clumsy, feeling almost tacked on. But the novel's strengths far outweigh its weaknesses, and the success of the first two volumes in the series--Most Wanted (2005) and The Finishing School (2006)--ensures that fans will want to check this one out. David Pitt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.