Synopses & Reviews
Inside the desperate world of TV ratings, an investigative reporter discovers that a serial killer is targeting women named Susan and killing one on the same day each year.
Television reporter Riley Spartz is recovering from a heartbreaking, headline-making catastrophe of her own when a longtime police source drops two homicide files in her lap in the back of a dark movie theater. Both cold cases involve women named Susan strangled on the same day, one year apart. Last seen alive in one of Minneapoliss poorest neighborhoods, their bodies are each dumped in one of the citys wealthiest areas. Riley senses a pattern between those murders and others pulled from a computer database of old death records. She must broadcast a warning soon, especially to viewers named Susan, because the deadly anniversary is approaching.
But not just lives are at stake so are careers.
November is television sweeps month, and every rating point counts at Channel 3. Riley must go up against a news director who cares more about dead dogs than dead women, a politician who fears negative stories about serial killers will hurt the citys convention business, and the very real possibility that her source knows more about the murders than he is letting on.
When Riley suspects the killer has moved personal items from one victim to the next as part of an elaborate ritual, she stages a bold on-air stunt to draw him out and uncovers a motive that will leave readers breathless.
"Kramer's impressive debut, a thriller, introduces Riley Spartz, a Twin Cities investigative TV journalist. Riley's favorite source, a former Minneapolis homicide detective, suspects a serial killer is behind two cold murder cases of women named Susan strangled on November 19 one year apart. Still grieving for her late patrolman husband, Riley relishes the distraction of a possible hot story. After discovering that a raincoat links the two victims, one a 26-year-old waitress, the other a teen prostitute, Riley unearths other cases that may fit the pattern, including the apparently solved murder of a former Miss Duluth and the suspicious suicide of a terminally ill woman. Kramer, a freelance television producer, delivers more than another ho-hum remix of a 48 Hours episode thanks to a snappy subplot Riley's exposure of a bad veterinarian doing scam pet cremations. Readers will look forward to seeing a lot more of the appealing Riley, who cares about justice as much as snagging at least a 40 audience share. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Television reporter Riley Spartz is recovering from a heart-breaking, headline-making catastrophe of her own when a longtime police source drops two homicide files in her lap. Riley suspects a possible serial killer and stages a bold on-air stunt to draw him out.
About the Author
JULIE KRAMER is a freelance television news producer for NBCs Today show, Nightly News, and Dateline. Prior to that, she was a national award-winning investigative producer for WCCO-TV in Minneapolis. She lives in White Bear Lake, Minnesota, with her husband and sons.