Author: Kristi Loucks
Genre: Romantic Suspense/Thriller
Lt. Commander Mason Cole never intended to follow his brother into law enforcement, but the murder of a loved one gave him the motivation needed to take a position as the head of Chicago’s Serial Crimes Unit. Along with his brother, Detective Devon Cole, former FBI Profiler and Technical Analyst Melinda Kade and Detective Piper Torello, Mason is tasked with finding some of the cities most prolific serial killers.
As a former Navy SEAL, Mason has seen some of the worst the world has to offer, but nothing could have prepared him for his initiation into the world of a serial killer.
Their first case came with a gruesome introduction from a man who has given himself his own press ready moniker. Known for his macabre signature and the white rose he leaves at the scene with a calling card signed in blood,
THE ROSE RED REAPER
Mason and his team will pursue the killer through the vast streets of Chicago, across the affluent suburbs of the North Shore following cryptic clues left at each crime scene and pointing them to a web of violence dating back to The Reaper’s own childhood.
Complications begin to arise when The Reaper makes a connection to the woman that Mason loves. Dakota Rose Shelton. The stunning, raven-haired beauty that has carefully salvaged Mason’s broken heart may also be the key to ending The Reaper’s bloody reign. Left blind by a childhood illness, she must help them to assemble the pieces of the Reaper’s past with no visual memories to aid her.
Can Dakota help the team put the pieces together before The Reaper targets one of there own? And will she be able to fight off a killer that she cannot see?
I interviewed Kristi Loucks, the author of The Rose Red Reaper on my blog before and had a blast reading through her responses. I don’t have a lot of time for reviewing nowadays but given that this book is quite short, and it’s in one of my favorite genres (suspense with a heavy dose of romance) I was up for the task.
The Rose Red Reaper didn’t dissapoint. It’s suspenseful from the get-go, offering a wide and intriguing cast of characters each with their own reasons to help track down the serial killer at large. This killer, nicknamed the Reaper, is a vicious psychopath who doesn’t have a clear motive – but he must have a motive, and it’s up to Mason and his team to find out what. With some terribly gruesome murder scenes, a time clock ticking so loudly even I could hear it, this book has suspense written all over it.
And then there’s the love. Mason isn’t that keen on falling in love, mostly because his previous girlfriend was the Rose Red Reaper’s first target and he doesn’t want to risk any other person befalling the same destiny. But Dakota is different. She manages to capture his heart against all odds, and he’s willing to protect her, no matter what it takes. At first he’s convinced Dakota is safe – there’s no reason why the Reaper would target Mason and his love life specifically. But then Dakota’s house burns down and it’s only due to sheer luck she wasn’t there.
Mason has to find out who the killer is before he loses the second love of his life. That, and how the killer manages to trap some of his team mates, makes the stakes extremely high. I liked that – it had my blood pumping and my ears sizzling and I just had to know what happened next. The romance is sweet and adoring and there were a lot of ‘ooh’ moments but it’s all overshadowed by this major event waiting to happen: the killer’s next target.
I loved this book from start to finish, and hope Kristi has some more surprises up her sleeve in the future. I wouldn’t mind another book about Mason and his team!
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