Cut To The Quick by Dianne Emley is the second book in the “Nan Vining” thrillogy. Publisher: Ballantine Books, January 27, 2009

he crime scene was like something out of a horror movie. Billboard tycoon Oliver Mercer has been brutally slain in his home in the Pasadena hills, joined in death by his long-legged trophy girlfriend–both of their bodies displayed in a chilling tableau. The murder scene reawakens terrible memories for homicide detective Nan Vining, who survived her own harrowing attack a year earlier. While tracking the taunting gameplayer her daughter Emily dubbed T. B. Mann–The Bad Man–she is now working the Mercer case alongside her ex-flame Jim Kissick, stirring up conflicted feelings in her. From the ritzy estates of L.A.’s Lamborghini-driving set to a rocky desert outpost where rattlesnakes whisper murder, Nan will risk both her badge and her heart on a case that cuts close to the bone.

Nan and her partner, Jim Kissick, are assigned to a double homicide where the killer dismembered the male victim.  Nan has her sight on two suspect and they both chase down the clues leading to the murderer(s).  Meanwhile, Nan is still haunted by the brutal attack on her and when a mystery man has information that only her attacker knows, Nan goads him and looks into clues that will help located him.  In between dealing with Jim’s renewed advances (had personal relationship) and raising her daughter, Nan once again is thrust into a cycle where she can only hope she survives.  What a thrilling ride!  This was another page-turning story that I did not want to end.  I’m looking forward to the conclusion with the next book.  [4 stars – really liked it]

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