Cover image for Garden of evil : a Britt Montero mystery
Title:
Garden of evil : a Britt Montero mystery
Author:
Buchanan, Edna.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Avon Twilight, [1999]

©1999
Physical Description:
319 pages ; 25 cm
General Note:
"An Avon book."
Language:
English
Geographic Term:
ISBN:
9780380976546
Format :
Book

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X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
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X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
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Summary

Summary

While attempting an arrest, a sheriff is slain by an enigmatic young woman who promptly vanishes into the northern Florida landscape. As the story comes over the wire, reporter Britt Montero is intrigued. Few copkillers escape so easily.

The murders continue. Men are lured into sex by the same woman, their lifeless bodies dumped half-naked in ditches, woodlands and along the road, their cars, cash, and valuables gone. The murderer, who leaves lipstick traces on the bullets she uses-slugs that blossom into flower-shaped blades designed to maim-is swiftly dubbed the Kiss Me Killer.

Tracking the killer's path, Britt senses it will lead to Miami, sweltering through the hottest summer on record. When a top politician tastes the killer's kiss of death, leading to a media frenzy, the story belongs to Britt and quick reader reaction comes-from the killer. They open a chilling dialogue, and the body count mounts as the bad and beautiful serial murderer decimates the hard partying South Beach scene. The mutual fascination between killer and reporter builds into an explosive face-to-face meeting that turns deadly as Britt begins a terrifying odyssey through the Sunshine State's dark heart, in the company of the murderer. On the road, on the run, a young father is brutally slain, his small child is kidnapped, and the truth behind this bloody spree is exposed in a shocking revelation. The question is: will Britt survive to write it?While attempting an arrest, a sheriff is slain by an enigmatic young woman who promptly vanishes into the northern Florida landscape. As the story comes over the wire, reporter Britt Montero is intrigued. Few copkillers escape so easily.

The murders continue. Men are lured into sex by the same woman, their lifeless bodies dumped half-naked in ditches, woodlands and along the road, their cars, cash, and valuables gone. The murderer, who leaves lipstick traces on the bullets she uses-slugs that blossom into flower-shaped blades designed to maim-is swiftly dubbed the Kiss Me Killer.

Tracking the killer's path, Britt senses it will lead to Miami, sweltering through the hottest summer on record. When a top politician tastes the killer's kiss of death, leading to a media frenzy, the story belongs to Britt and quick reader reaction comes-from the killer. They open a chilling dialogue, and the body count mounts as the bad and beautiful serial murderer decimates the hard partying South Beach scene. The mutual fascination between killer and reporter builds into an explosive face-to-face meeting that turns deadly as Britt begins a terrifying odyssey through the Sunshine State's dark heart, in the company of the murderer. On the road, on the run, a young father is brutally slain, his small child is kidnapped, and the truth behind this bloody spree is exposed in a shocking revelation. The question is: will Britt survive to write it?


Author Notes

Edna Rydzik Buchanan was born in 1939 near Paterson, New Jersey. She attended creative writing classes at Montclair State Teacher's College.

Buchanan was one of the first female crime reporters in Miami. Her police reporting for the Miami Herald won her a Pulitzer Prize in 1986.

In 1979, Buchanan produced her first book, Carr: Five Years of Rape and Murder; From the Personal Account of Robert Frederick Car III. This nonfiction book recounts the story of a convicted rapist and murderer. In 1987, she published her memoirs, The Corpse Had a Familiar Face: Covering Miami, America's Hottest Beat. That book was followed in 1991 by Never Let Them See You Cry: More From Miami's Hottest Beat.

Buchanan's crime novels include Nobody Lives Forever and Pulse. She is perhaps best known, however, for her mystery novels featuring a Cuban American crime reporter, Britt Montero. These titles include Contents Under Pressure; Miami, It's Murder; Suitable for Framing; Margin of Error, and Act of Betrayal. She has been a contributor to several magazines, including Fame, Family Circle, Cosmopolitan and Rolling Stone.

Buchanan has received awards from the American Bar Association, National Newspaper Association, and the Society of Professional Journalists.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Miami reporter Britt Montero is preoccupied with tight deadlines, pressure from her editor for the big scoop, a boyfriend who might propose, and a former beauty queen who keeps phoning to say someone's trying to kill her. Then a story that could be her biggest news coup ever falls into Britt's lap. A beautiful but deadly serial killer has already murdered half a dozen men by seducing them, putting a bullet between their eyes, and then shooting their genitals off. The so-called Kiss Me Killer has eluded police so far. But in a bizarre twist, she phones Britt to promise an exclusive interview if Britt will meet her secretly. Britt notifies the cops, who set up an elaborate plan to capture the woman. Naturally, the plan fails, and Britt ends up as the killer's hostage during a gruesome and deadly murder spree, during which, ironically, the killer provides Britt with the promised interview. Britt gets her big story all right, but the price is far too high. Taut, terrifying, and suspenseful, Buchanan's hard-hitting novel takes this solid series to a new level. A four-star read from the former Miami Herald columnist. --Emily Melton


Publisher's Weekly Review

Miami crime reporter Britt Montero (Margin of Error, etc.) endures a heat wave and much worse when some apparently unrelated stories converge. When a woman claims to Britt that she's a hit man's target, she's perceived at first as lonely, then as paranoid; a headless man smashes up a car during a shootout when his lifeless foot jams on the accelerator. That's all in a day's work for Britt, but then a female serial killer roars onto the scene. Keppie's M.O.: two shots delivered to near naked, post-coitus males, lipstick traces on exploding shells, stolen cars and purloined credit cards. Britt is on the story, and the pretty killer, enamored of her press clippings, takes an interest in the reporterÄwho, not being one to turn down a chance at good copy, consents when the cops hatch a plan to catch Keppie by using Britt as bait. Of course, the plan goes awry and Britt finds herself in a car with the murderer and a frightened young boy, driving across the Sunshine State. In addition to winding up on the wrong end of a pistol-whipping from the slinky Keppie, Britt helplessly witnesses the killer practice her craft and gets caught up in a televised, O.J. Simpson-like car chase. Throughout, Buchanan sustains a feverish pace with hyper-fast cuts between major and minor plot lines. Although the resolution is relegated to an emotionless kind of narrative postscript, Keppie, a long-legged mankiller with a family secret and guile to spare, will easily command the attention of Buchanan's fans. Meanwhile, Britt herself, tough yet tender, remains a solid enough character to retain readers' interest despite the hyperbolic escapades Buchanan subjects her to in this over-the-top tale. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

Britt Montero is back, and this time she's in the clutches of a female serial killer who takes her and a child hostage as she continues along her murderous way. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.