Author Jean Holloway
Shevaughn Robinson is investigating an especially gruesome case which emerges into serial murders. The story evolves as she follows murder after murder trying to solve the case, not realizing the murderer is a man who not only becomes obsessed with death, but obsessed with her.
GEMS: The story touches on the struggles faced by minorities of race, and also gender in a white, predominately male occupation. It addresses interracial relationships, career paths, sexuality and criminal activity. Although not a new concept, it is still a very relevant real-world topic to explore when developing tension between characters. Shortly after I received this book I read that a newly updated version was being released. I wonder what was added, edited and further developed.
FLAWS: Sex on the brain and interaction by the lead female character cheapens her credibility. I wanted to know more about the case and less about her sexual escapades and relationship. At times she seemed completely ill-equipped and not capable of handling her task. I never got a clear voice for the main character or characters. Events were told, scenes were described, but I had no real emotional attachment to any of them, least of all Von. From a criminal profiling stand point, I tried to put aside the inconsistencies of the serial killer Eric Becker. However, his traits, M.O., position, crossing racial barriers of victims, relationship status and lack of known background and triggers made it difficult to digest (See “Psychopathic Character“). Becker was what I’d consider a sexual sadistic serial killer and although not every sexually motivated killer has identical qualities, there are behaviors that all do share or have in common. I felt he was more of a mash-up and I found it unconvincing. Lastly, the exuberant use of clichés was almost shameful. Every author does it, but this went beyond the minor blunder. For more on clichés go to “How To Avoid clichés”