I am currently reading my way through a long list of science fiction and fantasy titles. (http://www.npr.org/2011/08/07/138938145/science-fiction-and-fantasy-finalists if you are interested in the list).
Twenty-five years have passed since a savage killer terrorized California, massacring three ordinary families before disappearing without a trace. The only surviving victim of his rampage was a child…who is now wanted by the FBI for brutal crimes of her own.
Special Agent Matthew Roarke is on an interstate manhunt to track her down, despite feeling torn between his dedication to duty and his sympathy for her horrific history and motives. But when Roarke’s search unearths evidence of new family slayings, the dangerous woman he seeks—and secretly wants—may be his only hope of preventing another bloodbath. He just has to find her first.
I read this book to fill the Free Space square of my 2018 Halloween Bingo card.
Bloody hell, what a good book! Make it 4.25 or 4.4 stars or something of that sort. An intriguing mash-up of the FBI profiler genre with a dash of the paranormal. Special Agent Matthew Roarke realizes that his morals have been compromised—he has come to identify with a woman who murders the men who prey on women. His partner is giving him the side-eye, not entirely trusting his judgement anymore, but his team still seems to be following his lead. When he chooses to re-open a decades old cold-case in the course of investigating Cara Lindstrom, his superior officer closes things right down again. Until it becomes clear that the Reaper is back and Cara is as interested in catching him as the FBI is.
Sokoloff knows how to build tension effectively and how to structure the mystery to keep me reading, reading, reading until the end. She is also gentle with the paranormal aspects of the story, never over playing them and leaving room for us to wonder if there’s a rational explanation.
Written well before the “Me Too” movement, this book still made me think about it, as women still take the brunt of domestic abuse, serial murder, kidnapping, sexual enslavement, and other forms of violence.