The bartender was named Catch, a nickname from his hockey days when he wore a goalie's glove that looked for all the world like a baseball catcher's mitt. He had been a first-rate high-school player, perhaps pro quality, until the fall from the snowy rooftop broke both his ankles and left him with a permanent limp. Now, several years later, Catch is chronically under-employed at a northern Minnesota bar that caters to a crowd of rowdy snowmobilers and local town drunks. The lady in pink in the far booth is a newcomer. Her name is Serene; she is anything but. Before the evening is out, Catch and Serene will take part in a killing, conspire to conceal the evidence of one another's involvement, and launch a torrid (and homicidal) love affair. The case falls to St. Paul detective Paris Murphy. Dark House marks Murphy's third appearance in Theresa Monsour's well-received series (the other entries being Clean Cut and Cold Blood). Murphy is a straight-up, full-throttle cop and not inclined to take any guff from anyone; her character is well drawn and complex, an amalgam of Irish, Lebanese and pit bull (with a healthy dose of feminine sensuality). Meticulous plot development and breakneck pacing will leave the reader eagerly awaiting the next installment.

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