My rating: ⭐ ⭐
Actual rating of 2.5
Darek is a detective, he’s waiting on a possible promotion into the FBI and his home life is a mess. His world gets turned upside down when a case comes in, a girl has been found brutally murdered and has a tattoo of the zodiac on her back, which has been slashed with a message “The beginning of your end”. Not only is this an awful case, due to the nature of the murder itself, but this brings back memories from Darek’s childhood that he’d rather forget. Him and a group of boys at camp were involved in something that is remarkably similar to this case, and with a hot new partner from the FBI working alongside him, he needs to make sure that that past discretion does not come to light.
I’m a sucker for a good crime novel. I love a grisly murder (or murders), and I have a slight obsession with serial killers. Not in the creepy way (is there such a thing?) but in the way that, I want to know what would make a person do something so horrible to another. What is wired wrong in their brain, that they can do these things with no qualms about it, they don’t even break a sweat. The psychology of killers interests me because I want to know why, probably like the rest of the non-murdering human population I guess. Anyway! So, if a crime book sounds anything but run of the mill, I’m sold. When I read the premise of this book I was excited. A hidden secret from the past, that links to a current case the protagonist is working on? Wooooooeeee!! Count. Me. In. I was left feeling a tad disappointed though…
So, Darek is an okay character, not super likeable, but I didn’t hate the guy. I actually felt sorry for him when shit started going sideways, imagine carrying around the guilt that he does while trying to make a difference in this world? He’s trying his damned hardest, and all kids make mistakes. So I felt for the guy. But at times, he seriously came across as a moaning Mertyl, and I just wanted to punch him in the throat. He’s having troubles at home, him and his wife fight more than anything, and it’s like the love is gone. For the first half of the book, this seemed to be the forefront of the story…not the grisly murder and the whole “holy shit, what if my past comes back to bite me in the arse” predicament that Darek found himself in. I found that mostly he was just moaning about how shit everything was in his life at that point. At times he could be a downright dick too. Enter the hot FBI agent, who’s name I cannot remember for the life of me right now. Showing just the right amount of cleavage, with a tight pencil skirt and toned, tanned legs. She’s a ball breaking, and fair enough, it’s a male dominated industry. But something about her just rubbed me the wrong way. She was always spoiling for a fight or argument, and when Darek sees her he just about burns a whole through his pants. We’re constantly hearing about how sexy she is, how he’s married so it’s a no go, but she’s soooo good looking, but he’s married. OMG SHUT UP DAREK! I don’t know if this was an attempt to make Darek seem like a more rounded out character or not, but for me it just didn’t work that way. It made him annoying to me.
The second half of the book actually picked up and I found that I began racing through the story as it was starting to get interesting. This happened when Darek’s personal problems took a backseat and the murder came to the foreground. I feel that if the WHOLE story had have focused more on the murder itself, I would have enjoyed it a lot more. The first half of the story had a bit of a pacing problem because of the content I believe.
I do like that the authors have done some homework (if not being into it themselves) about BDSM and the sub-culture of it. A lot of people got the wrong idea about it when fifty shades of grey came about, so I’m glad that in this series, the authors know what they’re talking about. No, I’m not part of the sub-culture but I know of a lot of people involved in it from crossing paths at various clubs in Melbourne over the years. So it was nice to see that there is a good representation of the lifestyle in here. I also like that the female FBI agent has knowledge of it and this is expressed in the story while speaking to possible witnesses and such. Just a small thing that jumped out at me which I thought was great.
The overall story seems like it’s incredibly interesting. I’m actually tempted now to at least check out the next book in the series, where before 50% through, I had my mind set that I would not. I just hope that the pacing, the balance between character development and story development and the characters themselves get better. If they do, I’m sure I’ll continue on, as the story does not end here, it looks to be that we will not find out what’s happening until the end of the series which I believe is book 13? maybe 14? I’m not too sure. So if you’re in for the long haul, give it a go. Another things, if I didn’t know that both authors of this story were female, I would have believed it was written by a male. Though I don’t think a male would write a male character so pigish as what Darek can be.
Not a terrible book, but I’m not holding out high hopes.