Readers were introduced to St. Paul homicide detective Paris Murphy in last year's Clean Cut, the debut novel by veteran Twin Cities reporter Theresa Monsour. This month, the gifted Irish-Lebanese Murphy returns in the diabolical Cold Blood, a tale of a tortured serial killer's revenge. Justice Trip was a nerd throughout high school; in fact, nerdhood would have been a step up for the hapless youth. When his tormentors were killed in a fluke car accident in their senior year, nobody suspected that Trip could have had anything to do with it. Now, a decade and a half later, Justice Trip is on television, having turned up a major clue in the disappearance of a well-liked local girl. Murphy does a double take as she watches the news story; she went to high school with this guy. In fact, she turned him down when he asked her to the prom. As Murphy investigates the crime, she becomes convinced that Justice Trip is responsible for the murder, and perhaps several other unsolved killings in the northern Midwest. But can she find the proof? With cliff-hanger suspense, Monsour takes the reader first into the mind of the killer, then into the deliberate police work that will (with any luck) bring him to justice. No sign of a sophomore slump in this topnotch second installment of what we hope will be a long and successful series.

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