What can make you great can often be said to also be among your greatest flaws.
And that is certainly true for many of those who dedicate their lives to
catching killers. In THE
LAST MOVE, FBI Agent Kate Hayden was seventeen the night her father was
murdered. That same night she decided to go into law enforcement. Armed with
innate talent and her hard-earned PhD in forensic linguistics, sheâ€™s among the
best in her field, able to read the writings and communications of the most
heinous killers to reveal the clues hidden within. Hereâ€™s what I think are the
top five skills that make her and others in law enforcement so good at their
Dedication: It takes long hours of hard work and unremitting focus to
catch a killer. Kate has dedicated herself to tracking down violent offenders,
sacrificing her personal life and, oftentimes, sleep so that she can give every
waking minute to her job. That commitment also makes her come across to others
as cold and unfeeling.
Emotional Distance: Catching a killer is among the most emotionally
taxing work I can think of. A good detective has to put empathy for the victim
aside so emotion doesnâ€™t cloud the detailed examination of harsh facts. Kate,
however, has become so skilled at distancing herself, that sheâ€™s cut herself off from
the people who love her the most.
An Alert Mind: A good investigator is smart and always paying
attention. Kate is highly intelligent, her mind first trained by her love of
puzzles and word games and, later, by the rigors of earning her doctorate in
linguistics and her FBI training.
Bravery and Daring: Agents like Kate often spend months or years
fitting together the clues that create a portrait of a serial killer. When the
killer is identified the work shifts from desk and field work to a highly
dangerous pursuit requiring bravery and daring to capture the killer. Kate has
both and often puts herself in harmâ€™s way. At times she is perhaps too brave. In
THE LAST MOVE she risks enduring a horrendous death to stop a man whoâ€™s been
killing women for years.
Distinction and Honor: A successful investigator serves with honor
and earns the trust of coworkers. Kate has done exactly that. She works with a
team of highly skilled agents who would take a bullet for her because they know
sheâ€™d do the same for them. When Detective Mazur first meets Kate, she is an
outsider. However, dedicated, alert and daring, she wins him over in a very
short time. Soon, his focus shifts from distrust to breaching the divide created
by her emotional distance.
Catching monsters helps FBI agent Kate Hayden keep her nightmares at bay. Now
an urgent call brings her back to San Antonio, the scene of her violent past. A
brutal new murder shows hallmarks of a serial killer nicknamed the Samaritan.
Tricky part is, Kate already caught him.
Either Kate made a deadly error, or sheâ€™s got a copycat on her hands. Paired
with homicide detective Theo Mazur, she quickly realizes this murder is more
twisted than it first appeared. Then a second body is found, the mode of death
identical to a different case that Kate thought sheâ€™d put behind her.
Now Kate and Detective Mazur arenâ€™t just working a homicide; the investigative
pair is facing a formidable enemy who knows Kate intimately. While Mazur is
personally trying to protect Kate, the closer they are drawn to the killer, the
clearer it becomes that in this terrifying game, there is only one rule: donâ€™t
believe everything you seeâ€¦
New York Times and USA Today bestselling novelist Mary
Burton is the highly praised author of twenty-eight published romance and
suspense novels and five novellas. She lives in Virginia with her husband and
three miniature dachshunds.