Publication Date: May 5, 2015
The Reaper is dead. Cara has been caught. Everything should be fine.
But then the main witness in Cara's trial goes missing, and Cara is released. Both Cara and the girl completely disappear, but then the bodies start piling up again.
Roarke is beside himself, trying to look for the missing witness and Cara. But he's also fighting something else, something within him that might just change everything.
With the Cold Moon rising, can Roarke stop the killer and find the girls?
I had originally intended to have this finished by the end of 2015, but it never happened because I wasn't feeling the story and kept putting it off. Finally, I decided to pick it up again around a week ago and started to read it slowly.
The first thing that hit me when I started reading it again was the feeling of repetitiveness. I knew that because this was the third installment, there would be another huge case and more murders. I read the first two books around a year ago, and it's been such a long time since then, that I felt out of touch with this series and the story. Yet, despite the feeling of repetitiveness, I was still interested in finding out what was going to happen in this book.
A few chapters into this, I encountered my first problem, Agent Roarke. Being the lead investigator on the Huntress/Lindstrom cases, it's natural that he has a really strong attachment to the case itself. But Roarke had developed this strange obsession with Cara herself that was bordering on unprofessional. It made me uncomfortable, but it also made me strongly question both his morals and his ability to perform his duties objectively. This continued throughout the book, though the extent did lessen slightly, and started to make me dislike him more and more.
The thing about the case that interested me the most was the disappearance of the main and only witness in Cara's trial. Without her, all the evidence that would lead to Cara's incarceration would have landed on the more speculative basis since no one saw her commit the crime, and somehow the witness managed to disappear completely right before the trial started. It made me question the witness' reliability and how strong the case against Cara really was.
Then the bodies started piling up again, in a style that any reader of the previous books would recognize. Once that happened, my radar shot up and I begin to form my own theories of what was really going on. I questioned the case against Cara and the witness, thought through the different possibilities, and came to my own conclusions as I read the book. And it turned out that my theory was right, on two different occasions. I had managed to solve the mystery before Roarke did, and felt quite proud of myself for seeing it all before him.
Did that dampen the experience? Yeah, slightly. Since I was pretty sure that I was right, it did make it a little more boring to read as the characters pieced everything together. It also didn't help that the book was 391 pages long and made me feel like everything was dragging since I had already figured things out. But still, I found that I enjoyed the book enough to say that I'm looking forward to the next installment in the series, which is titled Wolf Moon and is yet to have a release date.
I'm fairly sure that I'll be continuing with the series until it ends, because it has captured my attention with its unique presentation and storyline. Not many plots revolve around a recurring pattern and a female serial killer, which in and of itself is really rare. I also like that the story is told from dual perspectives, as I always enjoy understanding the killer's mind and what makes them tick.
Also, I do have to congratulate the author for still managing to surprise me with the ending. There was a twist that I didn't see coming, which made me look forward to the next book more. Though in hindsight I can see the foreshadowing that leads up to the twist, I can't say that I predicted it or even thought about it for a moment while reading the book. And I really like that.
I would say that you'll have to read these books in chronological order for the series to make the most sense, though you can read them out of order too. My recommendation would be reading them in order and enjoying the full experience.
I have my frustrations with Roarke and his behavior, mostly starting with Book Two, but I have to say that he's still a good agent. While I don't always agree with his actions and motives, I do commend his ability and skill in his field. I just wish that he would be more reasonable, level-headed, and start thinking with the head on his shoulders more than his other head.
I do like Cara. Despite the fact that she's a serial killer, I do really enjoy reading from her point of view and learning more about her backstory. So far, I think Book Two is my favorite when it comes to reading and learning about her.
4 stars. I would really recommend this series if you're looking for something different. Female serial killers are a rare feature and rarely well done, often depicted as being too emotional and unstable, but this series does a really good job with its killer. I'd definitely say to give it a shot.
Thank you to NetGalley for hosting this on your site. Thank you also to Thomas & Mercer for approving my request to read this in exchange for an honest review.