Houston is shattered by a shock wave of unbelievably vicious sex killings. And this time the pattern is unique--way out of line with traditional violent-crime psychology. In Detective Carmen Palma's experience, a psychopath always chooses anonymous targets. But the Houston victims know and trust their killer: They meet willingly in hotel rooms, even in their homes. They don't fight when the leather cuffs are fastened to their wrists and ankles. They don't even struggle when the first blows fall . . .Palma's first lightning instinct is that the victims expected their torture. They were practicing masochists, apart of a secret clique that includes some of the city's most prominent women. They helped choreograph their own punishments-every blow. They just didn't expect to die. . .