Notorious contract killer Ricky Lozada is on trial and Dr. Rennie Newton is on his jury. Bringing the same dedication she displays as a surgeon to this job, she delivers a verdict of not guilty-and discovers she has a new admirer. Days after Lozada's release, one of Rennie's professional rivals is brutally murdered. Although Lozada's dark shadow looms over the case, Rennie becomes the prime suspect ... while Lozada stalks her and grows more and more obsessed with having her. She forms an uneasy alliance with Wick Threadgill, a rogue detective with his own personal vendetta against Lozada. Wick has nothing to lose by confronting a hit man, who, like the prize scorpions he treasures, strikes so quickly Rennie may never see it coming.
When Dr. Rennie Newton's jury duty on a case involving a contract killer ends in an acquittal for Ricky Lozada, her carefully composed and very private life begins to unravel. First, someone breaks into her house to leave her an anonymous dozen red roses. Then her colleague and one-time rival for the chief of surgery job is murdered in the parking lot of her hospital, which makes her a prime suspect, especially when the police learn that she's killed a man once before. None of that stops Detective Wick Threadgill from falling in love with her; unlike his partner, he's sure that Lozada, not Rennie, is behind Howell's murder. And it soon becomes clear that the killer is so obsessed with Rennie that he'll do anything to have her--including killing again. Brown, master of the romantic mystery, goes into darker territory here, but she handles it with her usual deftness and turns in a well-paced if not particularly heart-stopping thriller with the requisite happy ending for Rennie and Wick. --Jane Adams