Top critical review
NC17 For Extreme Depictions of Violence. Details Below.
Reviewed in the United States on January 19, 2019
This is a new-to-me author and series, but I read this book as a standalone. At about the 20% mark, I had the nagging feeling this was an incarnation of a story I’d read before. The serial killer storyline has been done better in other books, but the author did add several unique twists. Most of the characters—although well-developed—are police procedural tropes, as are their actions. The female sheriff is strong and intelligent, and the deputy is an ex-city cop and a sniper. They place themselves in an unbelievable and ridiculously dangerous situation—with results so predictable it deserves 5 eye-rolling emojis.
In the future, I hope the author uses more contractions—they’re, that’s, we’re, I’m—which help dialogue flow more smoothly. I noted information dumps, repetitions of facts (example: rangers versus sheriff’s deputies), exactly worded descriptions (“bile rising up . . .), too many prosaic explanations, etc. As an aside, I was surprised to read “Paracetamol” in an American mystery.
As a crime fiction fan, I’ve read about brutal rapists, macabre killers, and grisly murders. On a graphic violence scale of 1 to 10, I rate this book a firm 10.
Front and center is a killer who enjoys—even celebrates—inflicting pain, so there are vivid descriptions of torture, maiming, killing with various weapons, and necrophilism.