A KILLER AMONG US is the third and final installment in Lynette Eason's Women of Justice series. All three books read as stand-alones, meaning you don't need the information relayed in the other novels to enjoy that particular story. Each book features one of three sisters who work in some form of law enforcement. Kit Kenyon, the main character in A KILLER AMONG US, was introduced at the end of Book Two, DON'T LOOK BACK.
Kit is a top-notch hostage negotiator, and she and Detective Noah Lambert have been partners for only three weeks. They are just getting to know each other when they are thrust into a serial killer case. Local college law students are being murdered, each with a body part removed --- an eye, a toe, lips. In addition, a small gavel is found at each crime scene. Sporadic scenes from the killer's perspective tell us that the serial psychopath refers to himself as "The Judge."
As Kit and Noah begin investigating the murders, they run into dead end after dead end. Everyone has an alibi, and the evidence just isn't coming together. But when the killer starts targeting them --- or one of them --- things really heat up. Also heating up is Kit and Noah's romantic attraction. Sparks fly between them, and the chemistry is undeniable. But each is holding back for different reasons. Noah's last partner was killed on the job, and he blames himself for not properly backing her up. His biggest fear is that he will fail his new partner, too.
Kit is not only dealing with her father's recent death, but also the bombshell he delivered on his deathbed: Kit was adopted. Angry with her adoptive mother for keeping this secret from her for all these years, Kit has left home and is getting to know her biological parents, older sister Samantha, and twin sister Jamie. Kit really likes Noah but decides she has too many issues already, without throwing romance into the mix.
Too bad their hearts won't listen to their heads.
Spiritually, Noah is a solid Christian man whose greatest desire is to reach the lost, one by one. On a few occasions, Noah hands out business cards directing people to his church pastor. He is never pushy, but doesn't hesitate to share truth and hope with anyone who will listen. Kit's faith, however, is shaky. Her anger towards her adoptive mom and confusion about where she actually "fits in" has caused her to question God and His purpose for her life. This is subtly explored throughout the story, and Noah's strong beliefs and wisdom influence Kit's spiritual journey.
While faith and romance play integral parts in the story, the main focus is suspense, which builds as the murders stack up. Lots of twists and turns and fast-paced action make A KILLER AMONG US a quick and thrilling read. As with the first two books, I did guess the killer's identity, but this one kept me second-guessing myself a little more than the others. It did not, however, diminish my enjoyment of the story.
If you've read TOO CLOSE TO HOME and DON'T LOOK BACK, you'll love catching up with Sam and Connor, Jamie and Dakota. And you'll likely find, as I did, that the author brought the series to a satisfying conclusion with Kit's story. I am hoping that another series like this one is on Lynette Eason's agenda. She has written several mystery/suspense novels and definitely is a skilled story crafter. The Women of Justice series is a perfect blend of suspense, thrill, mystery, romance and faith. If you are a fan of romantic suspense, this book --- this series --- will not disappoint.
Reviewed by Lynda Schab on May 1, 2011