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Disturbance: An Irene Kelly Novel    by Jan Burke order for
by Jan Burke
Order:  USA  Can
Simon & Schuster, 2011 (2011)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

I've long enjoyed Jan Burke's series starring strong, stubborn crime reporter Irene Kelly (now married to homicide cop Frank Harriman in Las Piernas, Southern California). So I picked up Disturbance (the eleventh episode in the series) with enthusiasm.

In it, horrific serial killer Nick Parrish comes back for an encore. Fans will remember Parrish, who targeted Irene in Bones (one of the series' best ever episodes) and left her friend, forensic anthropologist Ben Sheridan, with a prosthetic leg. Parrish himself suffered severe head and spinal injuries, but has since benefitted from advances in spinal surgery. In jail for life, he now has an online fan club, the Moths. Turns out he also has offspring by various mothers - and has made devious plans with them.

Tension builds as Irene hears about the serial killer's almost miraculous recovery, while also coping with the imminent loss of her job - her paper is in serious financial trouble. Of Parrish she muses, 'Those of us who had been in the mountains with him never felt completely safe again.' So, when the killer escapes from a prison ambulance with the help of three of his sons (Kai, Quinn and Donovan), Irene's friends rally round, making sure that one is with her at all times and teaching her self-defense moves.

At the same time, Irene digs into a missing persons case that morphs into murder, and starts a new job in public radio. But Parrish isn't finished with her and - as the reader expects - finds a way through her defense network. Fortunately, Irene has an unexpected ally in an increasingly untenable situation - one who might just manage to keep her alive until Frank finds them. Disturbance is a must read for Irene Kelly fans - and if you somehow missed Bones, go back and devour it first.

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