In the autumn of 1991, a young girl disappears from a Cleveland Heights, Ohio neighborhood. She was last seen talking to a man as the clouds opened and a rain began. Th e only witness is an elderly woman whose description of the possible kidnapper could fit any number of people. As police, friends and family search the immediate area for Annette, she is taken farther away and becomes one of the predator’s early victims.
Over the course of the next several years, along the interstate 90 corridor between Toledo, Ohio, and Albany, New York, a number of young girls disappear without a trace. Jim McLarry, Annette’s cousin and a rookie cop with the Cleveland Heights police force, pursues his own investigation of the missing girls in hopes of finding his cousin. As he feeds information to the detectives assigned to the case, McLarry demonstrates his ability as an investigator.
Years earlier, a boy, born and raised in difficult circumstances, determined that he will kill his adoptive mother and sister. Each summer a new victim is another rehearsal for his intended goal. As he plans and executes his annual killings, he leaves virtually no clues. Only little mistakes, the dogged determination of the Cleveland Heights cop and the intervention of Annette’s extended family, the Clan, lead to Averell’s downfall.
To Probe a Beating Heart is a fictional, but realistic study in the creation of a killer. The monster that Averell has become must be stopped and if the authorities cannot make that happen, the Clan will.
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