What would make the perfect man? That's the delicious topic heating up the proceedings at a certain table of professional women at their favorite restaurant, Ernie's, tonight: Mr. Perfect. What qualities would he have? Would he be tall, dark, and handsome? Caring and warmhearted -- or will just muscular do? Jaine Bright and her three girlfriends start off with the basics -- he'd be faithful and reliable, the responsible type, with a great sense of humor.
But as the conversation picks up momentum, so do the quartet's requirements for Mr. Perfect -- and they write down a tongue-in-cheek checklist that's both funny and racy. The next thing they know, the List, as it has come to be called, spreads like wildfire throughout their company and sizzles along e-mail lines. And it doesn't stop there: the List becomes an overnight sensation, grabbing the interest of local newspapers and television coverage. No one expected this avalanche of attention for something that began as a joke among friends. And the joke turns deadly serious when one of the four women is murdered...
The prime suspect in the case is the victim's boyfriend, who was one of a number of men who found the List sexist and offensive. But an impenetrable alibi gets him off the hook. Now, with the help of Jaine's neighbor, an unpredictable police detective, the puzzle must be solved -- and time is running out as a deadly stalker targets the three remaining friends. Now, knowing whom to trust and whom to love is a matter of survival -- as the dream of Mr. Perfect becomes a chilling nightmare.
Putting her "trademark darkly sensual style" (Booklist) into high gear, New York Times bestselling author Linda Howard creates a tour de force of passion and suspense in this electrifying new page-turner, and proves that appearances can be deceiving -- and deadly.
Warren, Michigan, 2000
Jaine Bright woke up in a bad mood.
Her neighbor, the blight of the neighborhood, had just roared home at three A.M. If his car had a muffler, it had long since ceased functioning. Unfortunately, her bedroom was on the same side of the house as his driveway; not even pulling the pillow over her head could block out the sound of that eight-cylinder Pontiac. He slammed the car door, turned on his kitchen porch light -- which by some evil design was positioned to shine directly into her eyes if she was lying facing the window, which she was -- let his screen door slam three times as he went in, came back out a few minutes later, then went back in, and evidently forgot about the porch light, because a few minutes later the light in the kitchen blinked out but that damn porch light stayed on.
If she had known about her neighbor before she bought this house, she never, never would have closed on the sale. In the two weeks she had lived here, he ...
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