Picks and Pans Review: Good Morning, Killer

UPDATED 05/26/2003 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 05/26/2003 at 01:00 AM EDT

By April Smith

Critic's Choice

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You have to love Ana Grey. She is smart, loves sex, cruises around in a 1970 Plymouth Barracuda convertible and, as an FBI agent, solves kidnapping cases. When 15-year-old Juliana Meyer-Murphy is abducted, Ana and her boyfriend, Santa Monica police detective Andrew Berringer, work the case together. After Juliana turns up raped and beaten, Ana forges an emotional bond with her that grows as Ana becomes obsessed with catching the girl's attacker, a serial rapist. But soon Ana herself will be charged with attempted murder after a shooting.

In her third novel, Smith, a former writer for such shows as Cagney & Lacey, provides all the elements of a great mystery: pointed dialogue, vivid characters and a rocket-propelled narrative. Ana Grey is so real it feels as though you are sitting next to her in her muscle car. You won't be able to stop rooting for her—or stop reading. (Knopf, $24)

BOTTOM LINE: Oh, what a beautiful Morning

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