(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

Melanie Rosen was a psychiatrist. She specialized in those compulsions that drive individuals to commit multiple murders. A self-named miscreant called Romeo is killing women in San Francisco. When Melanie is interviewed on a local television show, Romeo is irritated by her quiet dismissal of the forces which drive him to violence. To demonstrate his contempt for Melanie and those who would bring him to justice, Romeo adds Melanie to his list of victims. Romeo is satisfied with his victory, but then learns his action produced a bonus.

Melanie kept a diary, had a dark secret, and had a sister. Sarah Rosen wishes to avenge her sibling’s death. Moreover, Sarah Rosen can be manipulated by the judicious use of the information contained in her sister’s diary. Romeo sees the potential for an interesting game against an opponent worthy of his time and yet not someone he considers a serious threat. Sarah is perfectly willing to meet Romeo on his own terms. She has her own ghosts to exorcise, and her efforts to bring Romeo into a court of law will be a significant step in the right direction. Such is also the case with Mike Wagner and John Allegro. Wagner and Allegro are assigned to the case and each has a hidden agenda in that regard.

Title is a professional psychotherapist, and that fact is clearly apparent on each page of this first novel. ROMEO is a traditional mystery in which reader and author compete, the one to solve the puzzle and the other to offer numerous false trials. ROMEO is also a sanitized look at the dark side of the human condition, the place where few go and no one returns unchanged.