Author: Kristi Loucks
Genre: Romantic Suspense/Thriller
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase from Amazon.
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 love romantic suspense, and The Rose Red Reaper was no exception. The story follows detective Mason as he tries to catch his girlfriend’s killer, a notorious serial killer who leaves behind white roses stained with blood and cryptic messages. For a year, the killer kept quiet, but now he’s at it again, not only killing women, but men as well. There’s seemingly no connection between the murders, but Mason knows there is – why would the killer leave those messages if there was no connection?
Mason is an intriguing character. He wants to do the right thing, wants to catch the killer, but he’s too involved to see things clearly, especially when the killer starts targeting his new girlfriend, Dakota. I liked Dakota for the most part. She’s blind, and the author clearly thought this through. Dakota can manage well enough on her own, even despite being blind, and she doesn’t need help all the time either, but Mason likes to dote on her by walking her home and stuff. I thought it was all kind of cute, but I would’ve liked to see Dakota being a bit more independent. She’d always been independent until Mason showed up, and then she started to depend on him for nearly everything. Either way, I liked both of them, but I liked Mason best.
The novel was suspenseful from start to finish, and I loved the entire backstory about the serial killer and the blood red roses. I felt there was a connection between the murder victims almost right away, but was left in the dark as to what that connection was until the end. A great book and an even greater debut from a surprisingly talented author.
Review copy was provided by Enchanted Book Promotions to review during a book tour.