Friday, January 6, 2017

Elizabeth Heiter's "Stalked"

Critically acclaimed and award-winning author Elizabeth Heiter likes her suspense to feature strong heroines, chilling villains, psychological twists, and a little bit (or a lot!) of romance. Her research has taken her into the minds of serial killers, through murder investigations, and onto the FBI Academy’s shooting range. Her novels have been published in more than a dozen countries and translated into eight languages; they've also been shortlisted for the Daphne Du Maurier award, the National Readers' Choice award and the Booksellers' Best award and won the RT Reviewers' Choice award.

When high school student Haley Cooke goes missing from inside her high school, leaving behind a note foretelling her own death, FBI profiler Evelyn Baine is called in to unravel the case, in Stalked, the fourth book in The Profiler series. Everyone in the girl’s life seems to be hiding secrets, from her step-father to her boyfriend to her best friend. The deeper Evelyn digs, the more she realizes that uncovering Haley’s fate could be the death of Evelyn herself.

If Stalked were made into a movie, Heiter's dream cast would be:
FBI profiler Evelyn Baine: All her life, Evelyn has relied almost entirely on herself. But when she was twelve, she made the bold choice not to keep a secret – and that choice saved her life. Now, she’s desperately trying to figure out which secret in missing teenager Haley Cooke’s life caused her to go missing without a trace. The perfect actress to play my strong, determined heroine is Thandie Newton (and she happens to look very similar to the way I imagine Evelyn!).

FBI agent Kyle “Mac” McKenzie: Once part of the FBI’s elite Hostage Rescue Team, a bullet wound took him out of the tactical world and put him back into life as a regular Special Agent. He’s still trying to adjust to the change and give his all to his very first case – a possible human trafficking ring at the college where Haley Cooke’s older boyfriend also attends. I picture a younger High Jackman playing Mac. As a former HRT agent, he’s like Wolverine from X-Men (but instead of metal claws, he’s used to carrying an FBI-issued sub-machine gun).

Police detective Sophia Lopez: Working for a small police department, this case is one of Sophia’s biggest, and she’s gotten close to all of the players, especially Haley’s mom, who visits the station every day for an update. Sophia is desperate to be able to give Haley’s mom good news, so she calls in a profiler to help with the case, but that doesn’t mean she’s about to sit on the sidelines. I imagine her to look a bit like Eva Mendez, with some of the same spunk and attitude of the characters she often plays on film.

Worried mother Linda Varner: The mother of missing teenager Haley Cooke, Linda Varner will do anything to bring her daughter home, even quit her job so she can spend more hours each day getting attention for her daughter’s case. Not even her ex-husband’s statements to police and the media – that Haley ran away to escape abuse – will stop Linda from exhausting every option to find Haley, no matter the cost. I picture a slightly younger Rita Wilson as Haley’s mom, with that quiet determination.
Visit Elizabeth Heiter's website.

--Marshal Zeringue