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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.