Dead Run
Erica Spindler
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Dead Run

Erica Spindler
Mira Books
384 pages
June 2002
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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Liz Ames, on the heels of an emotional and mental breakdown, arrives in Key West determined to find her sister. Pastor Rachel Ames has been missing for the past three months. Local authorities, including Lt. Val Lopez of the KWPD, believes that Liz's sister left town of her own free will; there is no evidence of foul play.

Liz believes otherwise, but it isnít until she stumbles across a young woman who has been savagely murdered and mutilated that she finds someone willing to take her concerns seriously.

Ex-cop bar owner Rick Wells is a man burdened with grief. Though he's worked as a cop in both Miami and on the island, he prefers now to run his bar, and leaves the police work to his childhood (and current) best friend, Lt. Lopez. Until, that is, he hears a young womanís screams and arrives at the murder scene moments after Liz. After the preliminary investigation gets underway, the two are propelled together again and again as they both search for answers to the sudden increase in disappearances and corpses turning up on Key West and its environs.

An approaching hurricane parallels the increasing pace of the investigation, which exposes lies, doubts and an evil more compelling than Liz has ever faced. Satanic worship, threats, and terror grow as the island is held captive not to only the coming storm, but also to a sick ungodliness that has held the island in its grip for months. While Rick and Liz strive to identify the names behind the violence, they must face their own demons and fears. In doing so, they threaten not only their growing relationship but their safety, until each is compelled to uncover and face the ultimate truth behind the evil which has taken over their island.

Spindler has penned a suspenseful bottom-line good vs. evil tale in Dead Run, riddled with a myriad of characters who surface to heap mystery upon mystery in this excellently plotted suspense. The locale of Key West provides an unlikely though heady setting for her tale, a setting whose beauty by day transforms into menacing malevolence by night. Spindler invokes the readerís senses, and an urge to leave the lights on at night and take a peek under the bed before turning that light off. While a handful of mutilated bodies populate the pages of this book, so do well-drawn characters, good and bad, who provide the reader with scintillating mysteries of their own to solve.

© 2002 by Denise M. Clark for Curled Up With a Good Book

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