My Rating: 4/5
I have read all of Jilliane Hoffman's books and have never been less than impressed. She has produced two books featuring prosecutor C.J Townsend and two stand alone books. This fifth release is a mixture of the two. We see Assistant State Attorney Daria Bianchi and Detective Manny Alvarez work a case that involves a snuff club. We also see the return of C.J Townsend just before the halfway mark in this book.
Daria and Manny make for fantastic reading as they both have such unique personalities. Manny Alvarez is a veteran cop whose nickname is The Bear and Daria is a hot-headed Italian woman trying to make her mark in the world. They make a great team and at the start of the book we see them clash heads as they uncover what looks to be a dangerous game of men watching women be raped and then murdered in the so called snuff-club.
The re-introduction of C.J and the serial killer on death row Bill Bantling aka `Cupid' had me reading a lot quicker that I thought. As it has been a while since I read the CJ books I worried I would lose the thread but the plot is re-covered for the benefit of those having not read previous books. As I read on I remembered why Jilliane's books always had me hooked. They are extremely dark reading and I always find myself feeling the fear as much as the characters as we see the chase for the suspects who are cursed with these sick and perverted minds.
The story has a lot going on and there are numerous threads that are woven in to the story including past crimes committed and the involvement of Bill Bantling, the serial killer on Death Row. At around the ¾ mark the pace picks up considerably and I continued reading until I was done. I was both shocked and pleased by the time I had finished. Shocked at the outcome of one particular thread in the story and pleased that JH was just as good as I remembered. It was good to have some conclusions in the last part of the CJ trilogy and although this took me longer than usual to get in to, it was no less thrilling than her other books.
I have to say overall that her last stand alone book slightly holds the edge for me but this book was clever and thoughtful making for a gripping read that had me checking my windows at night.