Detective Manny Williams and his partner, Sophie Lee, are called to the scene of a disturbing and gruesome murder at Lansing's local adult playhouse, the White Kitty. The circumstances surrounding the murder rocket deeper into the bizarre as the forensic evidence reveals more questions than answers. As he begins his investigation, Manny is interrupted by a phone call that shakes his world. His nemesis, serial killer Dr. Fredrick Argyle, has killed again and sent the evidence to prove it. Argyle's heinous actions force Manny and Sophie back to the Caribbean. All the while the body count rises in his home city. Two serial killers. Each threatening to change his life forever. One succeeds.
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I enjoyed this fast-paced, well-plotted, suspenseful mystery that comes with a side of light banter to balance the gruesome deaths. My rating 4.5.
Manny is a dedicated, driven, workaholic police detective. He loves his wife and daughter but that doesn’t stop him from getting pulled away when he is deep in pursuit of a killer. He gets along well with his partner, Sophie, who, even though married, seems to flirt a bit - okay outrageously - especially with one of the FBI agents they have been working with. Manny has his own draw to resist in the form of a female FBI agent.
Manny and Sophie are just getting into the investigation of a local murder binge that appears to be targeting men of ill repute, known for hurting or mistreating women. Although the vigilante killer (or killers) may be ridding society of some real low life, still it’s murder. Before Manny gets deep into the forensics, where he likes to dig, he gets a call he doesn’t want to hear.
Another serial killer, and Manny’s nemesis, Dr. Fredrick Argyle, is on the killing path again and is baiting Manny to catch him. This guy is very brutal and creepy, reminding me of Hannibal Lecter. Manny and his team speed off to the new crime scene where Dr. Argyle leaves a few mutilated bodies and warnings that Manny and his family and friends are not safe. Back home, Manny’s own boss is shot at point blank range leaving Manny another killer to track.
The story makes clear shifts between the murder investigations keeping the reader/listener keyed to gather the clues. The author skillfully hints at suspects that do not seem probable but one never quite knows what might cause someone to snap.
Although the plot deals with some gruesome murders, the author manages to maintain a certain lightness in the friendship of the characters and the depth of love among the family. The comedic banter seems natural as a release to ease the tensions of their gritty jobs. Mr. Murcer does a good job with each element: strong characters, skillfully plotted mysteries with red-herring clues and twists, and high levels of action and suspense. I really enjoyed the forensic details and mind thinking that Manny sorts through trying to get ahead of the killers.
The story is sprinkled with cursing, as might be expected with cops and killers, but, as far as I can recall, the author doesn’t use the worst of the words. I really enjoyed the fast-paced style and the strong, engaging protagonist. Although this can be read without having read the first book, it made me wish that I had read that one first. Also, this ends with open lines for new changes in the next book. I do recommend this book (and series) to those who enjoy good forensic details and can deal with some gritty murder scenes.
Audio Notes: DJ Holte does a really good job with the narration. He provides smooth transitions between distinct voices and he captures and portrays the range of emotions including love, humor, hatred, mania and more. The audio definitely enhanced my enjoyment of this reading experience.
I received this audio book from the narrator for an honest review.