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I'm Watching You    by Karen Rose order for
I'm Watching You
by Karen Rose
Order:  USA  Can
Warner, 2004 (2004)

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* * *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

ADA Kristen Mayhew works grueling hours trying to put criminals behind bars, but even she can't stop them all. After a particularly bad day she isn't in the mood to deal with the imposing man she encounters in her parking garage. But when she finds evidence of a murder in the trunk of her car, she's glad Detective Abe Reagan is by her side. It's soon clear that Kristen's crusade has caught the attention of a serial killer who identifies himself only as 'your humble servant' and is meting out his own brand of justice to those rapists and murderers who've escaped the full penalties of the law.

While many cops, including Abe, might applaud what the killer is doing, it's still murder. It doesn't take his team of investigators long to realize that the vigilante's gruesome 'eye-for-an-eye' brand of retaliation will escalate. It's also clear that the killer knows too many intimate details about Kristen, her case load, and the inner workings of the prosecutor's office. Abe is soon watching over Kristen on a tweny-four hour basis. It's a job that he doesn't find difficult at all. He senses that there's a warm and genuine woman under Kristen's icy exterior and he fully intends to bring that woman out of hiding and help her face her secrets.

Karen Rose has crafted another stellar thriller. She has a penchant for overloading her plots and juggling a few too many characters, which at times dampens the pacing and suspense, but these are only minor detours. Rose's strength lies in her characters. Abe and Kristen are both filled with insecurities and desperate to reach out to someone. Abe is still reeling from the death of his wife and unborn child. In Kristen he finally sees a chance to get on with his life and re-discover those things he thought lost, if only she'll let him. Their chemistry shines and carries I'm Watching You to a break-neck and satisfying conclusion.

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