Top critical review
You should never skip breakfast . . .
on April 28, 2004
As a rule, I absolutely hate it when I get halfway into a novel and it suddenly changes into something else. This one starts as a very good police procedural murder mystery -- but at almost exactly the midpoint, the author suddenly *tells* you whodunit, and it becomes a thriller instead. Chicago "Windy" Thomas is an almost excessively competent young woman who has just left her job as a sheriff in Virginia to run the forensics lab in Las Vegas. She's trying to track down a particularly gruesome serial killer who wipes out whole families (except for the fathers) and, of course, she becomes a target herself. She has a cute six-year-old daughter and a control-freak boyfriend, but she's also drawn to Ash Laughton, head of the Metro Violent Crime Unit -- who just happens to also be a computer-software-millionaire. (I'm told there are a lot of similarities between the set-up and a top TV series, but I've never seen it.) Jaffe generally does a good job with the characters, except that I find it hard to believe that Windy was ever able to pass the FBI's personality screens. The pace is breathless, the level of detail is almost clinical, and the ending somewhat redeems the plot giveaway.