Montlake Romance | June 2017 | 523 pgs
Source: Purchased 

This is the first book of a series featuring Detective Angie Pallorino. I've read two of Loreth Anne White's standalones and really enjoyed them. There's something about her writing and she pay attention to the details which add depth to her stories. 

Detective Angie Pallorino would never forget about the perverted rapist, who is still at large, had violently mutilated his two victims years ago by etching crosses onto their foreheads after sexually assaulted them. Alongside the pain and regrets is the loss of her working partner who had died while they handled a domestic abuse case which had gone wrong. Despite anything, Angie is keen to prove to anyone that she still has the drive and determination in moving to the male-dominated homicide unit. Angie may be goal-oriented and fearless, but she do have some issues which make her vulnerable and want to be in control. With a schizophrenic mother and the loss of her partner, Angie numb herself through anonymous sex. And this situation leads her to meeting James Maddox, who later turns out to be her temporary partner for a joint investigation task after two more victims are found; both sharing some eerie similarities of her earlier unsolved rape cases. 

As Angie's private life collides with her professional ambitions, she is more determined to put that night behind her but Maddox, on the other end, is intrigued by this mysterious woman who had left an impression on him. Angie doesn't want him as partners, but he plays an important role in her job evaluation and most of all, she wants to solve the cases badly, especially if the perpetrator might be the same one she's missed earlier. As their search for clues and the killer intensifies, so does their desire for each other although Angie is in denial given her traumatic past. 

There's a lot going on in this story and there are layers amidst layers before the big reveal comes. As mentioned before, the author pay attention to details and this includes not only the characters development, their inner thoughts and the investigations but also the graphic descriptions of the violent and grotesque crimes mentioned. While this isn't one I'd recommend to the queasy or faint-hearted, from the other perspective it adds authenticity of a true crime. 

Angie and Maddox have their issues, too. Both are flawed characters and from a romantic angle, I enjoyed reading about their exchanges and how they managed to overcome their own demons through each other. I can't say I enjoyed the brutality of this story, but I do love the characters and how everything unravels towards the end, including Angie's secret past (which I chose to be vague for your own book-unveiling). Meanwhile, I'm eagerly awaiting for the other two installments to arrive.  

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10 Responses
  1. Kay Says:

    Melody, this author is one I've been meaning to try. This book sounds like a good place to start. Will mark it in my TBR list.

  2. Lark Says:

    I'm really liking this author. Good to know this is another one of her books to put on my TBR list! :D

  3. Melody Says:

    Kay - She's now one of my favourite authors. I need to check out her backlist and I know she has a new book coming out soon. Hope you'll enjoy this when you get to it, Kay.

  4. Melody Says:

    Lark - Glad we both like the same author and that you'll be adding this book onto your TBR list. :)

  5. the bookworm Says:

    Glad you enjoyed this start to a new series! It does sound intense.

  6. Melody Says:

    Naida - I love this author's writing, though not so about the subjects in this story.

  7. jenclair Says:

    I liked Barren Ground, but I didn't care for this one. I think it was the sex that got in my way. :O

  8. Melody Says:

    Jenclair - I see what you mean about the sex stuff. It was indeed over the top at times. I think this would be more of a romantic suspense genre but I thought the execution was good. Looking forward to reading Barren Ground.

  9. Iliana Says:

    Great review, Melody! The way you describe this sort of reminds me of books by Karin Slaughter which can be very difficult to read because of the violence but good stories. Will have to check this one out!

  10. Melody Says:

    Iliana - Thanks, Iliana! I agree some of Karin Slaughter's books can be difficult to read but still they are some good thrillers.

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