After saving her three-year-old daughter from a car-jacking, off-duty police detective Jocelyn Rush ends up in the ER. The last person she expects to run into is Anita Grant, former prostitute and an old acquaintance from Jocelyn’s days on patrol. In spite of her obvious injuries—mutilated hands and feet—Anita refuses to talk about what happened. Reluctantly, Jocelyn backs off, and Anita’s case goes to Philadelphia’s Special Victims Unit.
Before long, Jocelyn is pulled into the SVU’s investigation. Anita is finally ready to talk, but only to Jocelyn. Her story is harrowing, even to a seasoned veteran like Jocelyn. Working with SVU, Jocelyn’s investigation unearths a series of similar crimes going back four years. Three men are preying on local prostitutes, viciously assaulting and mutilating them.
The police apprehend two of the suspects, but the third eludes capture. As the hunt for the most sadistic of the three intensifies, and his crimes escalate, Jocelyn and her colleagues have precious few leads. Then a monster from Jocelyn’s past resurfaces. She doesn’t want to be reminded of the terrible secret that destroyed her family nearly twenty years earlier, but the man offers her a lead that could crack Anita’s case.
To solve it, Jocelyn must connect her past with her present—before a sadistic attacker sets his sights on her.
While the description leads us to believe this will be a typical crime mystery type story, the outcome for who was behind the main crime was pretty predictable. I would say this book held a lot of twists, turns and suspense as the main character’s family history were revealed during an investigation. That alone kept me invested in the book and gave me the desire to find out how this ended. So with that being said, if you find that you don’t like predictable crime stories where the ending doesn’t have a surprise “who did it” moment don’t put all of your hopes on this book. If you love a book that will keep you so involved in the side mystery and human angst of life, then I would say buckle your seat belts and get ready for a great ride.
Jocelyn Rush is raising her three year old “daughter” and is a detective for the police department. She is focused on Olivia and her career after her last relationship broke up because he was controlling her every move. She went to get her daughter’s blanket from the caregiver, leaving Olivia in the back seat asleep when her car was stolen. She was able to catch up with the guy who drove off with her daughter and beat him up pretty badly. This is when we start to see her world unravel and find out just who this woman is and what she has endured.
When at the ER she reunites with a former prostitute who had rehabbed and was trying to get her life on track. Anita was living with her mom who had cancer and found one job was not enough to support her, her mother and two kids and ventured out to seek a “job” one more time, but the men she was to meet left her with the red flag tingles. She was attacked and in the ER refusing to talk to the police. When she finally does decide to tell the police her story, it is Jocelyn that she will only speak to. As she investigates the case she discovers links to her sister’s gang rape years ago and the people from the past start making appearances again. This was NOT the predictable part; this was the twist that kept me interested throughout the whole book.
I was intrigued with how the author used the premise of this being a crime that needed to be solved but what stayed with me is the family dynamics of Jocelyn, her sister Camille and their uncle Simon and what they all kept from each other for so many years. Lies, secrets, crimes, betrayals and accidents all came together in the end creating a story that over shadowed the crucifying crimes that I felt the book would focus on. Some scenes could be considered too graphic by those readers who tend to get uncomfortable with demented acts of crimes against another human, but if you like dark and twisted you should be ok with this one. I am not a huge fan of crime mystery genre, but this one is certainly going to be on my favorite book list due to the dark dysfunction of the family and how slowly yet consistently she showed us the answers. The book was a smooth read, rather quick for me solely because I couldn’t put it down. The balance between characters and plots was brilliant and kept us engaged in all areas of the book. I look forward to reading more from this author in the future.
Pacing, Jocelyn loosened the brace on her wrist and rubbed the skin lightly before tightening it again. Exhaustion made her legs ache. It was nearing the end of her shift, but she knew they’d be there well after their shift doing paperwork. She remembered she’d promised Olivia they would go get a Halloween costume in the morning.
“This isn’t right,” Jocelyn said. “Why are they protecting this guy?”
Kevin sighed. “Who cares? It isn’t our problem anyway. Let’s just charge ‘em and leave ‘em down there till SVU picks them up.”
Kevin ran a hand over the thinning hair at his scalp. “Jesus Christ, Rush. With whatever we can. Rape, kidnapping, aggravated assault.”
She stopped pacing and looked at Kevin. “We need the third guy.”
“This is not our case. We’re not going after the third guy. We’re charging these guys, and we’re going
Jocelyn stood before him and put her hands on her hips. She arched her brow until Kevin groaned loudly, leaning back in his chair and looking at the ceiling as if he wished aliens would abduct him right that very second. “What the hell, Rush?”
“When SVU takes over, I want to make sure we did our job.”
Kevin shook his head and looked back at her. “We did our job. Look, we’re not getting the third guy through these two. Did you offer Warner a deal?”
Jocelyn nodded. She rifled through her desk for the bottle of Ibuprofen she kept there. “He’s not taking a deal.”
Lisa Regan is a crime fiction author. Her first novel, Finding Claire Fletcher
won Best Heroine in the eFestival of Words Best of the Independent eBook Awards 2013. It was runner-up for Best Novel. It was also a Digital Book Today Best of 2013 ebook selection. In December 2013, Finding Claire Fletcher
and her second novel, Aberration
were #1 Amazon bestsellers in the Kidnapping and Serial Killers categories, respectively.
Lisa is a member of Sisters In Crime. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Master of Education Degree from Bloomsburg University. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and daughter.