When Riley Spartz, the television reporter, investigates a series of killings where angel-shaped chalk outlines are drawn around the bodies, she digs up a peculiar legend that goes back almost 100 years. Following leads that bring her to an Iowan graveyard, Spartz comes upon the Black Angel monument that may be connected to the Midwestern murders.
Frustratingly, the local authorities have assumed that the suspect, who believes that the Black Angel is encouraging him to kill, has moved outside of their jurisdiction. Moreover, Spartz’s boss is sure that no one wants to hear about the serial killer anymore and wants her to report on something else. However, her personal link to the latest victim means that Spartz is hell-bent on getting to the bottom of things, even at the risk of losing her own life.
With the angry owner of a dog — on whom has Spartz reported as having been locked inside a hot car — possibly stalking her, and a Mysterious Stranger™ with an ambiguous agenda entering the picture, it’s apparent that Spartz has more than just ratings and love to worry about as she hammers her way to the truth.
Ordinarily, I wouldn’t pick up a book that features murders, a feisty female character, and a mysterious stranger who may or may not be up to no good. However, I’m glad I made an exception with Killing Kate. What I found especially interesting was that the minor characters each had their own unique traits, whether likable or not, which made them much more than mere cardboard cutouts. The supporting cast in many other murder-mysteries tends to be undifferentiated, and I’m happy that this was not the case here.
Reading Killing Kate was a case of “just one more page before lights out,” where the wee hours of the morning had crept up on me as I turned the last page. I guess it just goes to show how an impulse decision to read something apart from my norm can pay off. This is the fourth book in a series by Julie Kramer, and I’m going to hunt down the first three now!