"If there's a problem, I know what to do," Caitlin Jean "C.J." Osborn told her parents when they let her stay home without a babysitter for the first time at the age of 10. Only thing is, the boogeyman was planning a visit that night. And this boogeyman knew her name.
The boogeyman came, and C.J. faced him down in the dark. The problem was, however, her parents didn't believe her. No one, they told her, had invaded their Midland, California, home. So she kept her mouth shut from then on, for 16 years.
Now a Los Angeles police officer, C.J. spends her time patrolling the streets, busting bad guys, talking to kids in school, serving her community the best she can.
Serial killer Gavin Treat, referred to by LAPD as "The Hourglass Killer" has claimed his second victim. His totem? A black widow spider. His calling card? An hourglass tattoo on his victims, emulating the hourglass on the black widow's belly. And he's found his next victim – Caitlin.
Little does she know that Treat is watching her on his computer via a hidden camera while she works out in her bedroom. Or, that an FBI "hacker tracker" a continent away in Baltimore, and his partner are also watching, unknown not only to her, but to Treat as well.
We do find out Gavin Treat's identity fairly early on. Or so we think. Then everything coalesces – LAPD, Los Angeles County Sheriff and Baltimore FBI come together, thanks to a secret website, and find themselves on the same page. Finally, at last, a break in the Hourglass Killer case.
But, where is C.J.? She's located, thanks to some nifty maneuvering. The action gets hot and furious, and before you know it, we're on a relentless roller coaster ride ... a pursuit that pits wits against wits, a brave woman against a determined psycho, and the law against a serial killer, one who's intimately familiar with Caitlin.
Your respect (or awe, or fear) of what a computer and the Internet can do will grow.
Signet ($39.95 list)