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Amanda Kyle Williams

The Stranger You Seek

Set in the dead heat of Atlanta’s sweltering season, The Stranger You Seek (Bantam Books) is a chilling treat, from creepy start to shocking finish. “Atlanta can be a hard city in summer, when the days are long and the unblinking sun sends temperatures soaring,” Amanda Kyle Williams writes. “Tempers flare. Steam billows from overheated engines, and stepping onto the street feels like stepping in front of a heat blower. Atlanta broils in its own anger. And now . . . I knew another killer was roaming the streets.” In her first major release, which begins a projected series, the longtime Decatur freelance writer introduces the fabulously flawed character of Keye Street, a former FBI criminal profiler and recovering alcoholic who ekes out a living serving subpoenas and chasing bail jumpers. Physically unimposing at best—110 pounds “after drinking a couple gallons of water” and five-foot-four-and-a-half on tiptoes—she relies on hard-honed instincts and a quick wit to survive in a lawman’s world. Through an old friend, Keye is drawn reluctantly into the terrifying case of a serial killer who taunts police with the promise of more victims. “You have either concluded that I am a braggart as well as a sadist or that I have a deep and driving need to be caught and punished,” the murderer writes in a letter published in the Journal-Constitution. To lend authenticity to Keye’s voice, the author studied criminal profiling, worked with a private investigation firm, and even became a court-appointed process server. The extra effort—along with a great deal of talent—pays off in a smart, character-driven story with surprising twists.
 

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Photograph by Amy Gibbons

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