first-time author cathy vasas-Brown makes the streets of San Francisco the setting for Every Wickedness, a mystery told from the perspective of a woman who's being stalked. A series of threatening notes forces successful interior designer Beth Wells to wonder if the notorious Spiderman, who killed her roommate, may also have his sights on her. Worst of all, she has to consider that he might be someone she knows -- perhaps someone she knows quite well.
Wells tries not to get too paranoid but knows she needs to be cautious, a message her admirer, police lieutenant Jim Kearns, keeps hammering home.
As slasher stories go, this one isn't terribly gory, and the torture sequences are kept to a minimum, which will come as a relief to anyone who'd normally pass on the genre. Every Wickedness is far more whodunit than horror novel. Truly squeamish readers should give it a miss, though.
Mystery writing seems to be a growth industry among Canadians, and Vasas-Brown, an elementary school teacher who lives in southern Ontario, knows her way around the genre. Too bad she chooses the Bay Area -- rather than someplace closer to home -- for the book's locale, taking the Hollywood North approach in order to appeal to readers south of the border.
Write books at email@example.com
every wickedness by Cathy Vasas-Brown (Doubleday Canada), 304 pages, $29.95 cloth. Rating: NNN