The Stranger You Seek – Amanda Kyle Williams

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Keye Street was an Atlanta cop until the alcoholic wreckage of her life caught up to her.  Now, newly sober, Keye takes odd jobs serving subpoenas and chasing down bounty jumpers. When a serial killer surfaces in Atlanta, Lieutenant Rauser, Keye’s old buddy from the force, asks for help profiling him. The killer is clever, manipulative, and very skilled at what he does. Clues are sparse, and it doesn’t help when the killler begins to taunt the APD in letters to Atlanta newspapers. Nor does it help that he’s devolving, and as he needs to kill at more frequent intervals it becomes increasingly apparent that Keye may be his next target.  

As the number of bodies escalate, so do the pressures on Keye: to help Rauser; to stay alive; prevent anyone else from getting killed, and stay sober through all that. Not to mention keeping her amusing day jobs. If you are up on your criminal profiling the ending won’t come as a surprise; Williams craftily inserts a couple behavioral clues that point the reader toward her bad guy. The writing is sure, her characters tough but accessible, and the chase to find the killer will make you turn pages far into the night.  

I found an immediate affinity with Keye Street as she is so much like my Franco character – an alcoholic cop specializing in criminal profiling; gruesome serial murders; a personal history marked by homicide; coping through rough, black humor; a cast of minor characters spanning the diversity rainbow; rugged, working-man dialogue, and a tender but not sappy romance. About the only thing they don’t have in common is that Keye is straight and turns to deserts in sobriety rather than lattes. They’d make a clever homicide team. I’m anticipating Keye’s next adventure and after reading The Stranger You Seek you will be too. 


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