My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Fans of classic detective stories will love this twisted serial killer saga that pits a madman against an amateur sleuth who gets in over his head when asked to look into a local girl’s murder.
The novel has a distinct Agatha Christie feel and delivers on the classic suspense, just like the legendary author.
The town of Casperton is rocked when a girl is found murdered, quite brutally. Her rich parents enlist the help of the local PI, Alphonse, who pulls his friend, Jake Boulder into the investigation. While this looks like a “straightforward” killing as details of the victim’s life emerge, soon more bodies are found and it becomes apparent that the town is in the grip of a madman, who will do anything for one more kill.
I liked Jake as a character, he was quirky and flawed, but very sharp and good-natured. He makes a great “hero” for the story and I’m interested to see more of him and where he goes throughout the series. The other characters were great too – Jake’s mother, Alphonse and Kira (the victim) were all really interesting.
The mystery was solid – not too twisty as has been the recent trend, but really a battle of wits between the detectives and the killer, to see who wins. And it’s quite a ride. The “action” isn’t what’s important, it’s the game of wits between the parties.
There were a couple of interesting subplots that I wish had gotten more time (like, Kira’s, um, fixation on Jake or the killer’s past) but i think that’s fairly typical for series debuts, as authors try out and see what works for the blend of characters.
Overall, I’m excited to see where this series goes in the future.