The scream heard by no one is the deadliest.
In the rural parishes of Louisiana's French Triangle, young women are disappearing one by one, only to turn up on the banks of the bayou, strangled and cast aside where they are sure to be found. But there is one trophy the killer prizes above all others, one woman who must be silenced forever....
Attorney Laurel Chandler did not come back to Bayou Breaux to seek justice. That once-burning obsession had destroyed her credibility, her career, her marriage—and nearly her sanity. But when a ruthless predator strikes too close to home, she's lured into a perverse game from which there may be no escape. Once before, Laurel's cries against a monstrous evil went unanswered. Who will listen now?
As in her last romantic mystery, Still Waters , Hoag creates a pair of lovers who are so awful that they deserve each other. But this time she factors in an offensive theme: bad boys are to be tolerated, but bad girls are to be raped, mutilated and strangled. The ``bad boy'' is the hero, horror writer Jack Boudreaux. With antics like crashing a Corvette and swatting a smarmy evangelist preacher with a bag of fish, Jack charms Laurel Chandler. Laurel has returned to her hometown, Bayou Breaux, La., to lick her wounds after she blew a case involving child sexual abuse, lost her public prosecutor's job and suffered a breakdown. But matters are grim on the home front, where a serial killer is haunting young women, and Savannah, Laurel's man-loving sister, is becoming increasingly unstable. Despite Laurel's anguish over losing her child abuse case, her reaction to Savannah's problem--also rooted in abuse by a stepfather--is, ``If I'd known, I don't think I would have come back now.'' Eventually Savannah sniffs around the wrong man and is murdered. Then Laurel is all tears and determination to find the killer.