By: M.J Aldridge
Published Year: 2016
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This in no way shape or form influenced my opinion of this book.
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Summary (Provided by Goodreads): In the darkest corners of the city, there is a thriving nightlife where people can let loose and cross the lines of work and play, of pleasure and pain. But now that sanctuary has been breached. A killer has struck and a man is dead.
In a world where disguises and discretion are the norm, one admission could unravel a life. No one wants to come forward to say what they saw or what they know—including the woman heading the investigation: Detective Helen Grace.
Helen knew the victim. And the victim knew her—better than anyone else. And when the murderer strikes again, Helen must decide how many more lines she’s willing to cross to bring in a devious and elusive serial killer...
Admittedly, the title piqued my interest but the cover did not. When I first read the summary I was still a bit iffy about the story. Maybe it was because it’s the fifth in a series, but I wasn’t immediately excited by this book.
What I thought
Warning: This post may contain spoilers for earlier books in the series.
This book definitely took me by surprise!
Helen Grace is a senior homicide detective with secrets, one of which is their latest victim. Helen struggles to work towards solving the case while keeping her connection with the victim quiet.
It’s always hard to review mysteries such as these without giving away too much of the story, so I apologize if everything is vague. I also have not read the previous novels, so I think the way that I read this book might be different than someone who has read the series from the beginning. I don’t think that it is necessary to have read the other novels, but I do find myself wanting to go back and read them to understand more of the backstory.
Detective Helen Grace has a dark history and has taken part in the BDSM community to help cope. Her first dominator is the first victim. What I liked about this story is that while Detective Helen is technically the main character, it really is a story told across multiple perspectives. The reader gets chapters from two of the other detectives (who are also female!), a head of the department, the victims, and even some of the suspects. Because of this, it read very much like a TV show crime drama as opposed to your typical mystery story. I also liked that since it wasn’t only from Detective Helen’s perspective, I didn’t feel like I was missing backstory or a connection that I would have had from previous novels.
The chapters are extremely short and therefore the story is really fast paced. It starts high energy right away and then continues to move that way. Two annoying aspects are some obvious misdirection on the part of the author and some stupidity on the part of the characters. The reason the misdirection is annoying is because the author uses the same style of misleading the reader twice. It was ok the first time but then the second time I got annoyed because I felt it was lazy and unnecessary. The stupidity bothered me just because it felt very obvious at one point that an experienced detective should have noticed something, but didn’t.
In regards to predictability (as that is an important factor to me in mystery novels), I was able to predict half of it. I don’t know if I had read the previous novels if it would have been completely predictable, but it still kept my curiosity piqued enough to keep the pages turning. Every page was filled with action and drama and intrigue ad it kept everything very exciting. And the ending! It was such a cliff hanger that I stared at the book for a while wondering if I was missing pages!
By: M.J Aldridge