Homicide Detective Avery Black has been through hell. Once a top criminal defense attorney, she fell from grace when she managed to get a brilliant Harvard professor off—only to watch him kill again. She lost her husband and her daughter, and her life fell apart around her.
Trying to redeem herself, Avery has turned to the other side of the law. Working her way up the ranks, she has reached Homicide Detective, to the scorn of her fellow officers, who still remember what she did, and who will always hate her.
Yet even they cannot deny Avery’s brilliant mind, and when a disturbing serial killer strikes fear into the heart of Boston, killing girls from elite colleges, it is Avery that they turn to. It is Avery’s chance to prove herself, to finally find the redemption she craves. And yet, as she is soon to find out, Avery has come up against a killer as brilliant and daring as she.
I'm not normally a fan of self published books. I actually tend to stay as far away from them as I can, but when this one popped up on my radar, I was intrigued by the synopsis, and absolutely in love with the cover. It was free, so I had nothing to lose. Once I downloaded it, it sat on my Nook for a week or two, then with nothing else to do, I opened it up, and I was a goner from that point forward.
In many ways Avery is the stereotypical fictional homicide detective. She is married to the job, to the extreme detriment of her family. She has a a painful and traumatic childhood, chock-full of despair and secrets. She is a deeply flawed character, driven to prove herself better than those around her, and determined to leave her past behind. But despite all the stereotypical attributes, she is complex in nature and three dimensional in scope. Truthfully, at this point in time, I'm not even sure I like her all that much, but I'm not so sure I need to. She can hold her own with some of the best fictional detectives out there, and she is the detective that this story requires.
The supporting characters are just as important to the overall feel of the book. Some of a little more developed than others, but I'm sure that they, along with Avery, will continue to grow as the series goes forward.
As for the mystery itself, I was pulled in right away. To be perfectly frank, not only do I normally pass on self published books, I'm rarely sucked in by serial killer narratives. I've always considered them to be a little cliché, and to a large extent unoriginal. I don't know if it's the imaginative motive behind the killings, the tension level that the author so expertly maintained throughout the entire story, or the complexities of Avery’s character that hooked me from the start, but I was enthralled from the get go. The few quibbles I had with the overall story were few, and they never interrupted my willing suspension of disbelief. This was a tension filled, expertly crafted mystery that has me rethinking some of my more snobbish tendencies.