By D. M. Annechino



Two years after almost dying at the hands of a serial killer, former San Diego homicide investigator Sami Rizzo is studying to be a social worker while taking care of her ailing mother. Her live-in lover, Detective Diaz, becomes involved in a series of gruesome murders with clues that are numerous but don’t lead anywhere. When Diaz is forced to travel to the bedside of his dying sister, the homicide captain recruits Rizzo back to work the cases. Weaving through lazy detectives, vague eye witness statements, a hard-nosed judge, and a host of personal problems, Rizzo races against time to find the killer before more people die. Things heat up, though, when one of the killer’s targets is found alive…

A very well thought plot with a lot of dimension, subplots. This isn’t just a police procedural. Annechino brings in personal lives and problems and does a fine job of keeping everything well contained and not letting things get out of hand.


Samantha ‘Sami’ Marie Rizzo: former San Diego homicide detective, has a daughter and ailing mother, wants to enter social work, enjoys Corona beer

Alberto Diaz: 40, Rizzo’s boyfriend of two years, homicide detective, former smoker, unsure about his relationship with Sami, has a sister

Julian: early 40s, blue eyes, jet black hair, handsome, medical researcher, married ten years, two daughters, came from an affluent family but lacked familial love, his female cousins sexually used him when he was a pre-teen, enjoys Johnny Walker Blue

These are characters with real life problems. Very well defined. Even the minor supporting characters are very well depicted. I very much enjoyed Julian’s ‘devolution’ and his justification for his actions. His adult life is so much a result of an awful childhood. Yes, he is evil, but you get to go inside his head a little deeper than some serial killers. There are a few layers worth exploring.


Tight, with no long lectures. Pretty well defined voices. Not too long conversations. Police procedural type questions and answers.


Very strong. A with the plot, very contained. Some profanity and instances of rape, but not graphically described. This deals with internal surgery but the medicalese is not you cannot understand. There are some explanation on the procedures. Pick up on the depiction of the three cousins in the story. Not coincidental and very good. I like the personal issues the character deal with. Annechino didn’t write surface people here. These are day to day problems people have. Strong sentence structure with proper use of language and grammar. There are two instances where Annechino plays the guessing game. In one instance relating to Rizzo herself, you may guess correctly from the start. I did. The other involving Julian…well, I won’t spoil it.

My ranking:

Brown Belt



Posted on February 25, 2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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