When Alexandra Rafferty was thirteen, she was raped by the boy next door. But it didn’t stop there. He continued to threaten her; she pulled out her daddy’s handgun and, never meaning to, shot him dead. When her father, a cop, found her, he promised no one would ever find out. The secret is a lot to live with, and it has influenced Alexandra’s life. Now on the Miami PD, she lives with her father, who has Alzheimer’s, and struggles with an empty marriage to her husband. The current case she is involved with – a serial rapist who murders his victims – holds a gruesome fascination for her, since it seems to mirror her past – and she increasingly starts to see herself in the bodies left behind. Her marriage is tested by her obsession with her work and her ill father, but even more by her husband’s secret agenda: Stan has been having an affair, and has staged what he believes will be the perfect crime. Alexandra finds herself on the run – from her husband, from the people who are after her husband, and from a killer whose vow for vengeance places Alexandra in mortal danger.
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Of all the crime writers currently mining Florida for fictional gold, James W. Hall is arguably the best at catching that state's unique topographic heartbeat. In his books about beach bum Thorne (including Buzz Cut, Mean High Tide, and Hard Aground), you can smell the ocean mixed in with the blood. Now Hall is starting a new series, about Miami police photographer Alexandra Rafferty, and readers will probably overlook the nagging feeling of some ingredients from other Florida writers tossed into the mix (Elmore Leonard's gallery of colorful sociopaths, Carl Hiaasen's over-the-top quirkiness) because of dead-on descriptions like this: "Jennifer McDougal's small white cottage at 2709 Leafy Way was wedged between two Coconut Grove mansions. To the west was a massive high-tech structure with severe angles, skylights, buttresses, heavy concrete archways, and dozens of columns holding up a grape trellis. A neon flamingo was lit up beside the massive front doors and neon numerals flickered beneath it." Alexandra is a fascinating character, wounded by a childhood rape. Very protective of her ex-policeman father who saved her then and has now slipped into senility, she deliberately keeps her talents and emotions in check. Her husband (one of those lovable Leonard lunatics) is an armored-car driver secretly planning the crime of the century, and the rest of the plot involves the search for a killer of young women who leaves his victims in unusual postures. --Dick AdlerFrom the Publisher:
"Body Language seduces you, then it grabs you, and it never lets you go. This is a first-rate thriller by a masterful writer." --James Patterson
"Alexandra Rafferty is a fabulous addition to the ranks of law enforcement. She is smart, competent, the consummate professional, and her job as a Miami P.D. photographic specialist places her at the crime scene, with a cold eye for detail and a passionate commitment to justice." --Sue Grafton
"Body Language is James Hall showing all his best stuff. Complex and edgy, engrossing and masterful. This book's a cut above the rest. It's his very best." --Michael Connelly
"Hall shows himself to be an ingenious plotter.... In Alex he has created a character to care about." --People "A sizzling tale of sex, blood, and obsession. James Hall just gets better and better." --Stephen Coonts, bestselling author of Fortunes of War
"[James w. Hall] scores big with his villains, who have the delusional capacity of poetry, philosophers and maniacs." --Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review
"Like top-drawer Dutch Leonard turned inside out...smart, observant, richly grotesque." --James Ellroy
"Hall nails you to the page until the suspense-laden climax." --Clive Cussler
"This Florida-based thriller gives mystery readers a new heroine--a methodical, nurturing and tenacious Alexandra Rafferty. She is one character with whom you will be pleased to become acquainted..." --The Oakland Press
"A well-plotted mystery...Past hurts and current passions come into play in a riveting way that simply won't allow you to put the book down... We can only hope that...this won't be the last we see of Alexandra Rafferty." --The Tampa Tribune Times
"A strangely exhilarating delicacy...It's almost a disappointment to get to the end of the book " --Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
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Book Description HarperCollins, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0002258242