Product description Assigned, along with her new partner, to the murders of three little girls, homicide detective Casey Martinelli closes in on a colony of mismatched people living in the wooded hills near the city. A first novel. From Publishers Weekly Although it gets off to an uncertain start, this first mystery boasts an appealing female detective and a few good shocks delivered close to the end. Three children's bodies are found near a reclusive community of eccentrics not too many miles from San Francisco. Young cop Casey Martinelli and her embittered, tyrannical partner Alonzo Hawkins think they've identified the perfect suspect in Vaun Adams, the community's resident artist, who once was convicted of murdering a child and who is secretive even by the standards of her weird neighbors. Adams is a strong, enigmatic creation: haunted, gothic and broadly dysfunctional, with a dark past that may contain the lurking killer. But the plot exhibits cracks--a tenuous piece of deduction conveniently dictates that the murder suspects can come only from the community--and King stumbles several times in developing her detectives' characters. She is coy about revealing the gender of Casey's lover (most readers will spot the "surprise" a mile off), and she lets Hawkins' initially gruff manner dissipate within a dozen pages. If King plans a series, she will need to flesh out her protagonists. Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. From Library Journal An omniscient narrator endows this amazing first novel with intelligence, intrigue, and intricacy. The serial murders of three kindergarten-aged girls test the uncomfortable relationship between a crusty San Francisco detective and his new female partner, both known for their independence. Eventually, unforeseen complications involving a remarkable artist's past and an evil stalker's secretive present force the pair into confrontation, and they learn to trust. This work exhibits strong psychological undertones, compelling urgency, and dramatic action. A necessary purchase and a writer to watch. Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.