Harlequin Romantic Suspense, Jan 1 2015, $5.50
In his New Orleans mansion, someone violently stabs U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Jeremiah Jackson, Junior twenty-seven times and counting in his bed; also murdered by one stab wound to their chests are his live-in housekeeper, her daughter and the gardener. NCIS Agent Alia Kingsley and her former husband NOPD Detective Jimmy DiBiase lead the investigation into the mass murders. Both agree the intended target was the naval official in a crime of out of control rage; while the three other victims were collateral damage caused by them being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Jimmy makes it clear to his ex-wife, he wants a second chance, but Alia distrusts him to remain steadfast faithful; as he mass cheated on her when they were married. Meanwhile Alia and a person of interest, the prime victim’s estrange son bartender Landry Jackson, are attracted to each other. As three more killings occur, most law enforcement working the case believes Landry killed his father in a crime of passion and the others in a crime of cold-blooded cover-up. The lone holdout Alia believes otherwise, but also fears her falling in love may have rose colored her instincts.
Allowing the citizens of Copper Lake, Georgia a respite, Marilyn Pappano takes her readers to the Big Easy in a terse romantic police procedural. Filled with twists, red herrings and a wonderful but expected romantic triangle, the fast-paced storyline hooks the audience from the moment the divorcees meet at the death house and never slows down until the climatic confrontation with an angry predator.