"Have you ever watched the light fade from someone's eyes, Foxy? The pigment slowly, ever so slowly disappear?"
The press call him the Escape Artist, and he is certainly living up to his name.
Sergeant Alexandra Fox has never come up against such a devious mind in her entire career. Ten young women, seven of them wives of fellow officers, have been found tortured and murdered. Every tiny lead fizzles out, and he revels in taunting them by phone, torturing them mentally as he forces them to listen to the screams of his victims.
Alexandra, is determined to catch him before he kills again, unaware that she's become the object of his obsession until he issues one last threat: "I thought I would give you one warning. A chance to back away and leave the investigation. Don't make me punish you."
Two brilliant authors, Mel Comley and Linda Prather (no less), have joined forces to produce an exciting new hard-boiled crime series. The first instalment is Clever Deception, a novella in which we get to meet the two central characters of this series - the headstrong and determined Detective Sergeant Alex Fox and her nemesis, the elusive and notorious serial killer dubbed The Escape Artist.
The Escape Artist is on the rampage, torturing and murdering women without leaving any trace evidence. This book immediately kicks off with a frightening scene. The killer's latest victim is in his grasp, pleading for her life. While slowly torturing his victims, the killer likes to phone the police, taunting them on their inability to catch him while they helplessly hear the poor women's screams of pain and anguish.
"Don't make me punish you."
DS Alex Fox is part of the team investigating these murders, headed by the obnoxious DI Jordan. When the killer contacts her directly, Alex knows that she's in his crosshairs, but she's not ready to back off. She's determined to get him, but at what cost? She couldn't even start to imagine the punishment The Escape Artist had in store for her.
The characters in this book are all very realistic and well-portrayed and I felt an immediate close affinity with Alex Fox. It's as if I've known her for ages. I could feel her pain, anguish, panic and frustrations, but felt helpless as I couldn't help her.
Reading this novella made me feel as if someone was squeezing my throat... literally. From start to finish it is very fast-paced and the suspense just keeps increasing until we reach a very dramatic ending which honestly left me exhausted, emotional, sad, angry and yearning for more... The story certainly continues... but now I just can't wait to see how!
If this novella is anything to go by, then we're in for a fantastic treat by these two fab authors as the next novels are published. I really enjoyed this novella and would highly recommend it.
With thanks to the authors for an ARC of this book.