three-and-half-stars
Bookmarks Issue: 
30-Sept-Oct-2007
user_rating: 
0

A-Love KillsHaving retired to a lonely Caribbean island after the death of her fiancé, pregnant Miami crime reporter Britt Montero finds a disposable camera washed up on the beach. After developing the photos, she learns that the camera belonged to a young couple whose yacht tragically sank, leaving the bridegroom a widower on his honeymoon. When he suddenly disappears with his wife’s fortune, Britt uncovers evidence that he may be a serial killer who marries, and then murders, wealthy women. Meanwhile, the Miami Cold Case Squad discovers the body of a man who disappeared years before—a fanatical misogynist who had made a living kidnapping children for divorced fathers. Once again, Britt has her hands full.
Simon & Schuster. 320 pages. $25. ISBN: 0743294769

San Diego Union-Tribune 4 of 5 Stars
"Buchanan won a Pulitzer Prize for her crime reporting, so it’s not surprising that her thrillers boast an authenticity that most others do not. Add to this a compelling plot and an intriguing heroine, and the result is topflight entertainment, solid and suspenseful." Robert Wade

South FL Sun-Sentinel 3.5 of 5 Stars
"In Love Kills, the Miami author melds her two series into a novel full of vitality with sophisticated plotting, expert tensions and characters who leap off the page. … Despite a few stumbles and rare bits of clunky description, including a chaotic ending, Buchanan delivers one of her best novels, full of twists and surprises and a view of Miami that is fresh and energetic." Oline H. Cogdill

Chicago Sun-Times 3 of 5 Stars
"Love Kills is full of surprises, well-plotted, and pays close attention to Britt and the squad’s techniques for solving their cases. … The main problem with Love Kills is how much risk Britt seems willing to take." Mary Wisniewski

Dallas Morning News 3 of 5 Stars
"The solution of the cold case will almost certainly surprise every reader, except those who are incredibly prescient. The apprehension of the honeymoon serial killer is not as surprising, but the more satisfying of the two narratives." Steve Weinberg

Critical Summary

In Love Kills, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Edna Buchanan brings together the protagonists of her two mystery series, making this the ninth Britt Montero and the third Miami Cold Case Squad installment. Critics, who called it one of Buchanan’s best novels, unanimously praised the clever, compelling plot with its surprising twists and hairpin turns. Fresh, engaging characters, lush Miami scenery, and careful accounts of real-life investigative techniques round out this suspenseful novel. A few minor problems included some clunky descriptions and a confusing, frenzied conclusion. One critic also cited Britt’s disquieting habit of plunging headlong into danger despite her pregnancy. However, Buchanan weaves together themes of love, betrayal, and violence against women into a sophisticated and satisfying thriller.