Her worst nightmare brought back to life, she risks everything for a second shot at justice. For thirty years, FBI scientist Olivia St. Martin has lived with guilt and one abiding certainty-that while she wasn't able to save her sister's life, she did testify and helped to convict the rapist and killer. When shocking new evidence exonerates the man Olivia is sure she saw abduct her sister, she breaks every rule in the book to uncover the truth. Driven by the possibility that she put the wrong man behind bars, Olivia discovers that a serial killer has been at large all these years. Believing that the monster has just struck again in Seattle, Olivia leaves her lab and poses as a field agent, sharing her unofficial investigation with a hardworking Seattle cop. Olivia doesn't want to lie to detective Zack Travis. And she certainly doesn't want to fall in love. But as the investigation intensifies, Olivia and Zack find that they're rapidly losing control-over their hearts, their secrets, and a case that threatens to consume them.
The latest from Brennan (The Hunt) is a satisfying romantic thriller that pits a smart, gutsy heroine against a serial killer more than three decades into his brutal career. Olivia St. Martin, a scientist with the FBI, is stunned to learn that new DNA evidence has exonerated Brian Hall, the man she helped put away 34 years ago for her sister's murder. Olivia's research reveals that her sister's true killer may be responsible for the rape and murder of almost 30 young girls, including two recent slayings in Seattle. When her supervisor refuses to involve the FBI, Olivia travels to Washington herself, posing as a field agent, to join Seattle Police Det. Zack Travis's investigation. As Zack and Olivia try to find a missing girl before she becomes the next victim, they discover the chemistry between them and soon share more than a case. A subplot involving Hall's quest for revenge adds depth to the novel and propels it to a tense conclusion. While it lacks the nail-biting of topnotch romantic suspense, Brennan's effort should provide adequate escapist fare for fans of the genre. (March) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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February 28, 2006
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Excerpt from The Kill by Allison Brennan
The day Olivia St. Martin's life turned upside down for the second time began like any other.
She inserted two slides onto the glass plate of the microscope and bent over the lens, adjusting the magnification until the minute carpet threads became clear. She recognized a match immediately, but went through all the points of commonality for her report and indicated them on the lab sheet. When she was done, she used the microscope's built-in camera to photograph the matched fibers, removed the evidence with latex-covered hands, and preserved it in a sealed case to prevent contamination.
She signed the report, then reviewed the file to make sure her team had finished processing all evidence in the Camero murder. Everything appeared in order, though DNA hadn't reported in yet. A foreign pubic hair had been retrieved from the victim and sent to the CODIS unit to be analyzed and run through the database. Contrary to what was implied on popular television, DNA matching was a slow, laborious process largely dependent on staff and resources.
Olivia loved her job and had been well rewarded: last year, she'd been promoted to director of Trace Evidence and Materials Analysis at the FBI's Virginia-based laboratory.
The door opened and Olivia glanced up as Dr. Greg van Buren walked in. Her ex-husband's grim expression surprised her: Greg was generally either amused or thoughtful, rarely depressed.
She arched her eyebrow as she closed the file folder.
"Olivia." Greg cleared his throat. Beneath his wire-rimmed glasses, his clear blue eyes narrowed with concern. He shifted uneasily and glanced down. Something was wrong.
Her chest tightened. "What is it?"
"Let's go for a walk."