By – James Patterson & J. D. Barker

Michael Kepler receives a phone call from his downstairs neighbor about water leaking into her apartment from his apartment. He arrives home and finds a dead woman in his tub that he does not recognize. What would anyone in this situation do; call the police. Detective Dobbs and others soon arrive. The victim’s purse and ID are found. Soon Detective Dobbs takes Michael to the victim’s apartment. While Michael denies knowing the victim, he is shown pictures of the two together, his clothes, shaving gear, and other personal items of his are in her apartment and bedroom. Then he is taken into headquarters for further questioning. The questioning is stopped when his lawyer arrives and wants to confer with his client. This lawyer attacks an officer who enters the interview room, and walks a confused Michael out of the police station. The chase begins. Soon Detective Dobbs is notified by the FBI that his prisoner is a suspected serial killer and to hold him for U.S. Marshall to take into custody.

The main storyline unfolds short chapters told in the voice of six of the main characters. There really are just two threads, the Police/FBI chasing and Michael and his sister in the other so it is not disjoined but flows quite well and was an easy read. The twists and turn in the plot kept my interest throughout the novel. As this appears to be a stand-alone novel, there is not much B-storyline of Detective Dobbs and the FBI Agent. As part of the main storyline, much background is provided on Michael, his sister and parents.

This novel is definitely rated as adult content involving a four year old Michael observing his mother’s death and dismemberment by her boyfriend who halfway through decides to eat his gun. Michael then is adopted by a Barton Fitzgerald, a renowned psychiatrist and author, and his wife Rose, a practicing psychologist. He was not adopted to provide him loving environment to grow up but to provide the Fitzgeralds what could be called a case study at best. Some vulgar language is used, but in my opinion the use was not excessive and was context appropriate. There were not love scenes. This biggest issue is the violence and psychological torture that occurs in the novel. Much of it was described as it happens or is recalled and described as if it was happening. Some of the events may be disturbing to some readers. While not over-the-top, readers be forewarned.

As the novel approached the end, plot twists become more often and more dramatic. I had many unanswered questions when bombshells go off near the end. What I will say is that all the loose ends are tied up but then end went south. Usually, this lowers my rating of the novel because it leaves things unanswered or you need to read the next novel to find the answers. That was not the case with this novel as I wrote above that there were not any loose ends. I just didn’t like the ending. Since this is more personal reaction to the ending. If the description of this novel intrigues you, do give it a try.



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