Review of BAIT by Karen Robards (see her website)
Putnam, July 2004
Maddie Fitzgerald is about to land a 10-million-dollar dog food account for her fledgling St. Louis ad agency--if she can impress the support hose off one old lady with her presentation. Unfortunately, the night before the presentation, someone breaks into Maddie's hotel room and she becomes the target of a botched hit that puts her squarely in the middle of a string of victims--victims of a serial killer.
On the case is FBI Special Agent Sam McCabe, whom the killer has been leading on a merry chase across the country, always a step behind, a few minutes too late to save a life. But Maddie survived, and she is his key. He knows the killer will be back to finish the job. His priority is to keep Maddie safe--and use her to catch the perp, in that order.
But there's something Sam doesn't know about Maddie's past, a terrible secret she has kept from everyone. All she wants is for the FBI agents to leave her alone. She can take care of herself. But Sam becomes her shadow. And as the killer circles closer, Maddie finds herself grateful rather than resentful for his presence even as the truth threatens to take away everything she has worked so hard for--including her own life.
Bait is the perfect blend of taut suspense and steamy romance, interspersed with moments of comic relief provided by a spoiled Pekingese chosen to be an advertising logo. Robards reveals just enough information to keep me turning pages and trying to guess Maddie's secrets. Lots of surprises, enough chase scenes and creepy, stalking snipers to keep any action junkie happy. This is my favorite of the half-dozen or so Robards books I've read.
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