Thursday, December 18, 2008

Wicked Game-Lisa Jackson and Nancy Bush

Wicked Game
Lisa Jackson and Nancy Bush
Zebra, Feb 2009, $7.99
ISBN: 9781420103380

In 1989 sixteen year old Jessie Brentwood informs her friends at St. Elizabeth she is leaving town. When she vanishes everyone assumes she left town except twenty-five year old police detective Sam “Mac McNally who thinks one of her “Preppy Pricks” pals killed her. He puts the pressure on them, but the case goes cold with the obsessed cop earning a nasty reputation for crossing the line with the teens. Meanwhile Becca Sutcliff, who suffers visions, and Jessica’s boyfriend Hudson Walker begin seeing one another until he goes off to college and fails to stay in contact.

In the present kids telling ghost stories near the statue of the Madonna in the St. Elizabeth maze find a hand sticking out of the ground. Mac is assigned the lead but warned not to go over the top. When the body is exhumed from its gravesite, they find the skeletal remains of a four-five month old fetus next to the woman.

Hudson’s sister, Valley Star reporter Renee Trudeau brings the old gang together to discuss the case. Hudson is elated to see widow Becca whose husband dumped her for another woman before dying from a heart attack. Becca knows she loves Hudson as much as she did as a teen, but distrusts him. As Becca begins to have her spells that she had not had since Jessica vanished, someone begins to murder the gang in what seems like freak accidents, but Becca knows better. She believes the evil killer is back to finish what he started.

This exciting paranormal romantic suspense thriller is filled with plenty of action once the St. Elizabeth ensemble meets for the first time in two decades. Even with a psychic element and with people nearby including the obsessed cop, the tale is reminiscent of Christie’s And Then There Were None. Though somewhat illogical re current day motive, the story line is tense and gripping as one by one the killer is murdering Jessica’s old gang. Fans of both authors will enjoy the sibling collaboration as Becca and the audience know he is coming for her.
Harriet Klausner

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