Mercedes Lackey,
Burning Water
(Tor, 1989)

When Dallas Homicide detective Mark Valdez got assigned to the Texas Ripper case, he immediately sensed that this maniac was something more than your average crazed killer. There was no pattern to the killings, except that most of the victims were missing their hearts -- except for the three children drowned in a water tank. But it was the weird feeling that the case gave him that compelled him to call in an expert.

Diana Tregarde, resembling a ballerina more than a martial arts expert, was an old college friend of Mark's who had occasionally consulted with the Hartfort police department. She was also a writer of thoroughly romantic bodice-rippers -- and a powerful witch. But even Diana was baffled by the Texas Ripper.

And as she and Mark struggled to find the killer -- or killers -- the body count grew.

Burning Water is the first book in Mercedes Lackey's Diana Tregarde Investigations series. It is a fast-paced thriller and even though I have read it two or three times, I was just as engrossed this time around -- the only difference was that I already knew the outcome, and it's not quite what you'd expect.

This book is not for the squeamish; it was originally distributed under Tor's horror imprint. The killer's victims are described, not necessarily in detail, but vividly enough that you might not want to read the book while enjoying your liver and onions. Or even your tuna sandwich.

[ by Laurie Thayer ]

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