October 18, 2004
The Halo Effect by M.J. Rose

The Halo Effect by M.J. Rose: the story of a sex therapist and her desperate attempt to find one of her patients when she goes missing.

Morgan Snow is one of New York’s top sex therapists. One of her clients, Cleo Thane, is an extremely well-paid, very discreet, prostitute dealing with some of the most influential men in the world. Cleo, however, has decided to write a tell-all memoir and even though she disguises the men in her book, it’s still pretty easy to figure out who they are.

Then one week, Cleo misses her regular appointment, something she’s never done. Morgan is concerned and eventually reaches both Cleo’s boyfriend and her business partner. Her concern escalates since a serial killer, dubbed the Magdalene Murderer, has begun to kill prostitutes in a highly ritualized manner and Morgan fears that Cleo has fallen victim to this madman.

She meets Detective Noah Jordan, the policeman assigned to the case, and despite his warnings, attempts to solve this mystery herself. A spark between the two also develops, complicating matters.

For the most part, I liked this book but never found it to be a mesmerizing read or get too involved with the characters. I’m not sure what it is that I felt it lacked, but it really never ranked above a slightly better than average read. This is the first in a new series, however, so the subsequent books may be worth checking out to see if they improve.