A Maniac and His Muse

Sep 29, 2011 | Updated Nov 28, 2011

Susan Fleet -- trumpet player and feminist music historian -- set her first crime thriller, Absolution, in pre-Katrina New Orleans, where homicide detective Frank Renzi takes on a serial killer who preys on women. Fleet's new killer thriller, Diva, is subtitled "a novel of psychological suspense." That's an understatement. Renzi is back, now in post-Katrina New Orleans, pitted this time against a lethal stalker whose prey is a beautiful classical musician on the cusp of stardom.

The psycho in Diva (paperback, Kindle, Nook) is not only a delusional former soldier with special martial arts training, he's weaponized with some really nasty equipment. And the dazzling object of his sexual obsession is not just a talented beauty, she is -- as pretty much everyone, including Renzi, sees her -- a haughty egotistical bitch. Her sense of privilege is off the charts, and her all-consuming hunger for fame goes well beyond ambition. None of which means she deserves to be raped and slaughtered. The question is, will Renzi be able to keep that from happening? Fleet takes the answer down to the wire.