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Evolution of the Series (#5) The King Snake
By the time of this fifth novel, I was growing tired
of the sexual obsession theme found in three of the previous four novels. While this tale involves a criminal who technically
could be termed a "serial killer," but as the FBI Crime Classification Manual points out, there are more motives
to multiple homicides than sexual predation (the vast majority of "stranger" or "serial" homicides). I
also wanted to explore the problems arising from Richard's PTSD and depression, as well as Jill's continuing struggle to accommodate
herself to her husband's vocation.
Richard isn't the only one with psychic wounds. Jill has gone through tremendous peril,
not once, but twice. As this story progresses, a new reminder of the fragility of life, and of what Richard calls "the
random cast of fate's net." Now, the Carters have a growing child to build their lives around. Mirabelle becomes Richard's
second lifeline, while Jill continues gathering an informal and unconventional extended family. She is the rock of the family,
its voice of reason and repository of good sense.
A sniper case that is puzzling as far as motive is concerned becomes almost
too much for Richard to bear when the killer strikes close to home. Accusations of police involvement in the drug trade stirred
up by an unscrupulous local editor flood the area while the snipings continue.