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Fair Game

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

Jessica Drake is definitely at her wit’s end. On the one hand, a serial killer is stalking the streets of Los Angeles and Jessica is part of the special squad assembled to bring him to book. On the other hand, Jessica’s sister is visiting quite unexpectedly, and something is not quite right with either her marriage or her son.

The serial killer seems to select his victims at random, yet the paltry clues left behind indicate a pattern. Jessica and her colleagues must somehow discern the connection if they are to have any chance to stop the reign of terror. It will not be an easy task, nor will the way be made smoother by the interpersonal conflicts which hamper the operations of the special task force.

The stress created by a difficult investigation is magnified by the question of what, if anything, Jessica can do about her sister Helen and her nephew Matthew. Helen insists that her marriage is an abusive nightmare from which she must escape. Helen’s revelation is shattering to Jessica. It forces her to recall the abuse she and Helen endured at the hands of their mother. Once again it seems, the sins of the mother have extracted yet another innocent victim.

But then that’s the crux of the problem posed by FAIR GAME. Jessica and her murderous opponent are both so scared by their parental past that their present is dark and foreboding. FAIR GAME is an intricate and plausible tale in which hunter and quarry are linked by bonds far more powerful than either realizes. Those who prefer their mysteries with more than a touch of the psychological will be quite pleased with Krich’s latest entry.