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by Alison Gaylin
Signet, March 2005
320 pages
ISBN: 045121448X

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Samantha Leiffer's tale begins on Valentine's Day. She has projects for her nursery school children all ready and then learns her plans need to change. The principal tells her the police are coming to speak to the children for a community outreach project. Sam does not hate the police; she just does not trust them.

Sam is both a nursery school teacher and an off-Broadway box office clerk. She accidentally sees two people getting rid of an ice chest in the Hudson River. This scares her and yes, she has good reason to be scared. As she progresses with her life, the scene at the Hudson River keeps playing in her mind and she is concerned what is in that chest. Sam also is reminded of an incident long ago when a stranger lured her into a car, though luckily, she escaped.

The characters in this story are quirky and often bizarre. Sam works next door to Veronica at her school. Veronica provides hateful comments and tries to undermine her at every opportunity. Her friend, Yate, works with her at the theatre. He believes her when Sam relates to him the scene of the mysterious ice chest being put in the water. Another character is a friend of Yate's, named Peter. There are accusations that he may be involved in satanic rituals.

At this point, Sam is scared to death and seeks out the detective, John Krull, who had earlier come to her school. Krull explains to Sam that this may be nothing sinister. Later, the detective rethinks their conversation and decides to follow up on it. He finds some answers and those answers are not good!

A dark, chilling story, this was nearly unreadable for me at times. It has a satanic undertone and do be advised that there are some graphic scenes. For me, the best part of the story is the relationship that develops between Detective John Krull and Samantha. With some elements of surprise, you are warned to not read this story before you go to bed. I made that mistake!

Reviewed by Rita Ratacheck, April 2005

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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