This is the second book in Heather James Serpent Series. I enjoyed the first book a little more than this one, but it is still a nail biter. It is hard to put down because you are swept up in the story. Well written and enjoyable thriller.
Heather James in her new book, "Hands Of Darkness" Book Two in the Lure of the Serpent series published by Kregel Publications continues the story of Evelyn Barrett.
From the back cover: When the terror becomes personal, the hunt becomes more urgent
Evelyn Barrett has a new job, a new baby, and a new life-of sorts. Nearly crushed by the horrific abduction and murder of her daughter (book 1, Unholy Hunger), Evelyn is moving on as best she can.
No longer allowed to practice law, she is recruited by one of the detectives from her daughter's case to become a police consultant. Her inaugural case becomes a baptism by fire as she joins the hunt for a chillingly methodical and sadistic serial rapist and murderer.
Her revulsion and anger fuels a passion for justice . . . and then it becomes personal. Her friend and law school roommate, Jen, becomes a victim. The rapist has made a catastrophic mistake with Jen: he has left her alive and able to talk.
Filled with the chilling tension of Unholy Hunger, Hands of Darkness explores the emotional and spiritual consequences for all involved when justice and compassion collide head-on with the darkest examples of human depravity.
Evelyn Barret's life continues. She is trying to move on with her life and, though she has been disbarred, she has been hired as a police consultant. First case: a serial rapist/murderer. Wow, when Heather James jumps she hits the ground running. "Hands of Darkness" is even more exciting than the first book, "Unholy Hunger". This book is a murder mystery thriller that also deals with the issues of hope and healing. I think Heather James is an extremely talented writer who really knows how to tell a story that will grab you and keep you flipping pages until you find out who did it. "Hands of Darkness" is a very exciting book that will keep you engrossed in the characters as Ms. James puts them through their paces. I am so looking forward to the next book in this series.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Kregel Publications. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
This is a fast-paced page turner that is not for the faint of heart. You are in the mind of a killer for part of the book. His thoughts and actions sickened me. Yet you see how abuse and brokenness leaves its wounds so deeply in people and without the healing power of Christ our brokenness will hurt others.
Then there is Evelyn who is one tough cookie. She has attitude that is for sure, but you can't help but like her. She has been through junk of her own. I haven't read the first book in this series, although it's been on my wish list. Now I really want to read it. If it is anything like this book I know I won't be disappointed.
If you enjoy suspense you will eat this book up. It is so good it kept me up at night, that takes a lot because I like my sleep :)
A copy of this book was given to me by they publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Seeking to begin anew in the wake of the death of their firstborn child, Evelyn Barrett and her husband Eddie move to a new city. Evelyn starts a new job as a consultant with the police department, and together the Barretts look forward to the birth of their son Owen. However, Evelyn soon finds herself counting the cost of her new role with the police, as the first case quickly becomes personal. Evelyn must wade through the darkness of rape and murder while hunting a man consumed by evil, in a race that places her own life in jeopardy.
Heather James' second novel in the "Lure of the Serpent" series races along at a breakneck pace, with tautly written scenes and an entertaining heroine who will have you both laughing and gripping the pages as she faces danger head on. I greatly enjoyed the interplay between the chilling scenes written from the villain's perspective and the witty, raw, and ultimately redemptive scenes from Evelyn's point of view. "Hands of Darkness" provides absorbing drama, top-notch suspense, and an honest examination of difficult issues of real life. Readers will be left considering our own capacity to forgive those who have deeply wounded us, just as the characters must chose to forgive those who rape or murder, who steal the goodness from life. Ultimately, the author shines the light and hope of Christ into the darkness where evil can hide. I love a scene near the end of the book where Evelyn ponders, "If we were a little less selfish and a little less apt to live by our own rules, then maybe, just maybe, there might be little less bloodshed in the world". How true!
Readers looking for well-written suspense should look no farther than this talented author. 4 out of 5 stars.
Book has been provided courtesy of the publisher for the purposes of this unbiased review.
We met Evelyn in Unholy Hunger - but you don't have to read it to thoroughly enjoy this book. It has been long enough since Evelyn's daughter was kidnapped and murdered. She found the killer but in the aftermath was disbarred. Now she consults for jury selection (she was good at reading people), until Thatcher, the detective in her daughter's case, asks her to consult with him.
Thatcher is after a serial rapist/killer in San Diego and Evelyn agrees to help him. She and Eddie and baby Owen are happy to move there, to get away from the city of the horrible memories. It allows Evelyn to reconnect with her law school roommate, Jen. The situation becomes personal for Evelyn when Jen is attacked and raped - but manages to escape death. Evelyn is determined to find the evil man, putting herself right in the path of danger.
James has crafted an excellent suspense novel. I love Evelyn. She is an outspoken and forceful woman. She irritates Thatcher with her continuous plunging through police protocols, but he also knows she gets the job done. She has an insatiable drive to find evil and eradicate it, even to the point of putting her own life in danger.
We get into the mind of the killer as James has interspersed short chapters of his thoughts throughout the novel. It is uncanny. I have always had difficulty understanding the motivation of a serial murderer. James has provided a realistic thought pattern that makes raping and killing women a necessary and frequent act for the man.
Just a word of caution. This is not a "cozy" mystery. James has included some pretty suspenseful events with intense description and feeling. I really got a sense of the evil nature of the rapist. There are no unnecessary, overly graphic details, but I was certainly drawn into the evil nature of the killer.
This is not an overtly "Christian" novel. Evelyn doesn't pray when faced with danger. The novel is a gripping account of the battle between good and evil, however. I highly recommend it.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.