The working title for this story
was "Beds of Clay." Once you're into the book, you'll understand why. I changed it because the initial inspiration
for the story contained the image found on the cover, a "road shrine." We've all seen these roadside crosses commemorating
a tragic death. Like my main character, Richard Carter, I do some of my best thinking while driving alone. In this instance,
I wondered about a more sinister remembrance: the reliving of a sadistic predator's "triumph."
are told by John Douglas and other members of the FBI's Behavioral Science Unit that serial murderers constantly fantasize
about their obsession. It's why they keep trophies from their victims, revisit the scene of the crime (they are probably the
only criminals who really do that), and even go back to dumpsites to visit the body. I thought, What better way to remember
someone than with a road shrine? Enough about the plot. This is supposed to be a mystery.
Along with the search for the killer,
we continue with the growth and evolution of the Carter family. Richard's PTSD plays less of a role, but he will never be
rid of it. Mirabelle is getting old enough that they begin to worry about her inevitable discovery of their past and Richard's
"unforgivable" sin. As for the extended family, Ron Guidry, Shane Sanders and Raven have significant changes in
Returning for a reprise of his role in Call Her Sabine, is Jill's colleague Cyrus Hopewell. And
Richard finally meets Special AgentTanner (from Book 3 Canaan Camp) in person, but under distasteful circumstances as the
FBI takes over the case.
A new character debuts, Deputy Woodie Koeltz from central Missouri. Smart and gung
ho, she is inexperienced, but not as naive as Richard assumes. This strong woman is destined to appear in a later story.