Saturday, December 26, 2009

Dead by Midnight-Beverly Barton

Dead by Midnight
Beverly Barton
Zebra, Feb 1 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9781420100518

Lorie Hammonds dreamed of making it in Hollywood so she left Dunmore, Alabama to pursue her dream. She left behind her boyfriend, now the town Sheriff Mike Birkett (see Silent Killer for the back story).

She came home after her fantasy failed and her BFF widow Cathy Cantrell needed her (also see Silent Killer). Mike remains angry with her to the point it impacts his job as he ignores death threats aimed at her. The widower tries not to be short with his kids, eleven years old M.J. and nine years old Hannah while not understanding why they reject caring Abby Sherman who reminds him of his late wife Molly. However, Powell Agency detective Maleah Perdue takes the threats to Lorie seriously as a serial killer is methodically murdering the cast who performed in the nude in an adult film that Lorie would prefer to not count on her credits list. She will show her inner strength when the two kids become the target.

The latest Dead By romantic suspense thriller tied to the Powell Detective Agency is a tense direct sequel to the Silent Killer. The story line is fast-paced from the onset as a serial killer methodically murders the cast of a porn film with Lorie listed as an actress. As she and Mike learn via Dead by Midnight that a person cannot run from their deeds as regret and remorse are powerful feelings that never quite leave. Fans will relish this strong sequel with a fascinating unexpected potentially deadly twist that does not require reading the previous novel, although that helps with the past that haunts the present.

Harriet Klausner

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