Monday, October 10, 2016

Review of "Deserves to Die" by Lisa Jackson


 

When the bodies of a couple of murdered women - each missing a finger - turn up in Grizzly Falls, Montana it seems clear a serial killer is on the loose. Long-time detective partners Selena Alvarez and Regan Pescoli investigate the crimes. Regan is having a tough time, though, for a variety of reasons: the sheriff's department has a new acting sheriff she can't stand; she's getting ready for her marriage and new home; and her teenage daughter is acting out and giving her a hard time.

Meanwhile - just before the murders start - a woman on the run lands in town, disguising her appearance and calling herself Jessica. Jessica rents an isolated cabin in the woods and takes a job as a waitress. A man named Troy Ryder is on her trail for reasons that become clear as the story unfolds. Jessica is convinced that the 'missing finger deaths' are meant to terrify her but - because of her past - is too scared to notify the police.

There's a lot of cat and mouse activity in the book as Troy Ryder stealthily stalks Jessica, and this rachets up the suspense. There are also an array of characters that add interest to the story: a cowboy heartthrob who knew Jessica a long time ago, his rough and ready brother, the ambitious acting sheriff who craves the limelight, Regan's handsome/sexy fiance, and so on.

The story holds your attention, is fast-moving, and rolls along to a dramatic conclusion.

I enjoyed the book but there were some problems in the story for me. For example I didn't understand some of Jessica's actions. I kept thinking - why would she rent a primitive, uncomfortable cabin deep in the woods (presumably to hide out in) and then take a very public job as a waitress where anyone could (and did) find her? I also didn't buy into the reasons Jessica couldn't notify the police when she seriously believed her life was in danger. For these reasons this  was just an okay book for me.

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