Harlequin Romantic Suspense, Jan 1 2014, $5.50
After five years away wandering big cities to stay ahead of law enforcement and rejoice in his collection, Calvin Sweet comes back to his hometown of Conard City, Wyoming. Filled with rage for the cops taking away his triumphs, his boys, his corpses that he left there; Calvin plans to start over but change the locale of his spiderweb from the woods to somewhere else. Still he feels good that his job at the crisis hotline should enable him to find troubled boys.
Not long after Calvin’s triumphant return, several boys go missing. Wyoming Special Agents Cade Bankston and DeeJay Dawkins arrive in Conard City to assist the locals in catching the kidnaper who they assume is most likely a serial killer. Their attitudes re the opposite sex leads each to detest their partnering; as Cade thinks a woman cannot have his back and DeeJay loathes men as Neanderthals only good for an occasional fling. They seem to agree on nothing except to disagree on everything starting with the car radio. Still making matters even more strained between them is their attraction to each other while understanding stopping a psychopath remains the top tasks.
The twelfth Conard County: The Next Generation romantic suspense (see Snowstorm Confessions, Defending the Eyewitness and Deadly Hunter) is an exciting serial killer novel. Although the taut storyline goes as expected except for the deranged murderer going out of character by targeting one of the leads, the two state cops and the lunatic make for an absorbing cat and mouse tale as each brings diverse baggage to the plot.