Sons of Cain is the story of real serial killers from the stone age to now.
The book is divided into three parts. Part I contains definitions, Earth’s history and man’s place in it, and psychological diseases that may be causing serial killers to be more frequent now. Part II and III are the meat of the book focusing on pre-Industrial society and from Jack the Ripper forward, respectively.
You can skip Part I and just look up anything for which you need additional information later. It’s written like a textbook—informative but bone dry. In addition, if you are not a fan of Darwin’s evolution, it goes down that rabbit hole for a bit too.
The remaining parts are a mixed bag of pedantic, interesting and fascinating. My favorites were the 1874 Bostonian 14-year-old Jesse Pomeroy, Jack the Ripper and the extensive analysis of why serial killers began to be more prevalent in 1960s to peaking in the 1990s.
Sons of Cain is an interesting true tale of serial killers. It is recommended for readers or viewers of thrillers containing serial killers like Silence of the Lambs and Dexter. It is highly recommended to writers of stories involving serial killers. And, of course, current, past or future serial killers (you know who you are) should pick up this book to avoid making the same mistakes as their predecessors (just kidding). 4 stars!
Thanks to the publisher, Berkeley, and NetGalley for an advanced copy.
Posted in New Books, Non-fiction Tagged with: Aug 14 2018, serial killer, true crime
This time it’s personal for Sherlock and Savich in Paradox, the latest book in the FBI Thriller series.
Sherlock and Savich awake to an attempted kidnapping of their five-year-old son, Sean. Concurrently, Chief Ty witnesses a murder on a lake. When the lake is dragged for the victim, many old bones are found along with the new body. A old belt buckle is found with the victims that links the case to another in Sherlock and Savich’s history. The three stories intertwine as the plot plays out.
Regardless of which series I’m reading, Catherine Coulter never fails to keep me entertained. Even in the 22nd book in this series, the suspense is kept at a fever pace. Paradox begins with a breathless adrenaline rush and finishes with a twisty but not ultimately surprising finale. I liked Enigma, the immediately prior book in the series, more (review here) than this one but that was because of the science in that book. Still this book is highly recommended for thriller fans. 4 stars!
Thanks to the publisher, Gallery Books, and NetGalley for an advanced copy.
Posted in Mystery & Thrillers Tagged with: Jul 31 2018, serial killer, series, Sherlock & Savich
Find You in the Dark is a great concept bogged down with poor plotting and characterization.
Martin Reese has a secret. He likes to determine where serial killers bury their victims, dig them up, photograph them, rebury the bodies and then leave anonymous snarky messages for the police telling the bodies’ location. His obsession leads him to marry the sister of one victim and stumble onto a recent victim. As the recent victim’s killer stalks Martin so does Detective Sandra Whittal. She believes Martin has a more serious motive for his obsession than providing closure for the victims’ families.
Even with such a great premise, this book fails on evoking suspense. The first half drags with only the last 10% having any sort of page-turning momentum. Also, none of the characters feel like sympathetic genuine people. Therefore, Find You in the Dark earns only 3 stars.
Thanks to Atria and NetGalley for an advance copy.
Posted in Mystery & Thrillers Tagged with: Jun 19 2018, serial killer
Angela Wong’s body is found buried and dismembered fourteen years after her disappearance in Jar of Hearts.
DNA links the crime to Calvin James, aka the Sweetbay Strangler, who is ultimately found guilty of four murders. His 16-year-old girlfriend at the time of the murder, Geo Shaw, is found guilty too but receives only a five-year sentence due to her testifying against Calvin.
Jar of Hearts tells the story of the trial, Geo’s prison time, and what happens when she gets out of prison. Each section is based on one of the stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. I think it is best not to tell more of the plot. Personally, I read a review that gave away the surprise twist ending, which is just rude.
The book is recommended for thriller fans. How Geo survives in prison is an interesting story but the meat of the story is in the last two thirds after she gets out. There are some twists in the story and the ending is good so Jar of Hearts receives a solid 3 stars from me. Be aware that there is a rape scene and a sexual assault in the book if that bothers you.
Thanks to the publisher, Minotaur Books, and NetGalley for an advanced copy.
Posted in Mystery & Thrillers Tagged with: Jun 12 2018, serial killer