This review is based on a complimentary book I received from Author, Jane Blythe. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.Three by Jane Blythe
Series: Count to Ten #3
Also in this series:One, Two
Also by this author: One, Two, Charity's Wrath
Genres: Crime and suspense, Thriller
Release Date: January 24, 2017
Publisher: Bear Spots Publications
Format: ARC, E-book
Source: Author, Jane Blythe
Purchase at: Amazon
He targets couples, attacking them in their bed, killing one and leaving the other alive.
She targets wealthy businessmen, luring them to a hotel and then drowning them.
When the two killers meet up a wild killing spree erupts.
Annabelle Englewood is still struggling to cope with what a vicious psychopath did to her eight months ago. Sofia Everette has spent five months recovering from the physical and psychological trauma inflicted on her by her sister. When the two women and their respective boyfriends, Detective Xavier Montague and Detective Ryan Xander, meet up they will have to deal with the fallout from two killers’ love affair, all under the ever-present eye of an escalating stalker.
Having read the previous two books in the Count to Ten series I can say that in order to appreciate this book fully you need to read the prior books. This story includes the killers from the previous two books and brings them together in a bizarre and twisted way. In addition, the main protagonists from the first two books are also intertwined in this plot. What follows is a suspenseful ride that keeps you in disbelief and torment right until the bitter end. I can say that although this book has disturbing and graphic scenes I found it to be a very satisfying read.
This story opens up with a scene where Ricky Preston gives a gloriously gut-churning show of where his lust for killing has brought him. Next was a scene where we find Isabella Everette who appears to be conflicted about her choices but feels that killing is the right path for her. Both scenes truly make it clear where these serial killers are mentally and that they have no qualms about continuing to murder. Talk about suffering and pain, both of these characters are methodical in how they plan out their crimes. Ricky has developed an utter fascination with inflicting pain and reveling in the blood of his victims whereas Isabella feels that her victims deserve their demise and she prefers to kill her victims in what she considers a poetic justice.
I could really feel Ricky’s depravity. There were no redeeming features in his character at all. Isabelle was twisted from a childhood of horrors but she struggled with her demons and although they won out she still retained a piece of her soul that led her to question the right and wrong of her choices. Two completely different characters but they shared one common bond that took things from bad to worse. Truly a twisted tale reminiscent of Bonnie and Clyde.
Annabelle Englewood and Sofia Everette were victimized in the previous installments of this series. Struggling to recover from their ordeals they are both psychologically and emotionally fragile. When their tormentors resurface, they are brought together and form a bond that will help them get through the horrors that are to come. All the while their boyfriends are working together to find Ricky and Isabelle before they get their hands on either of them, again.
Annabelle and Sofia’s characters are written realistically I think. I liked that they did not have everything together after being victims of a crime. They both struggle with anxiety and self-loathing. Unable to come to terms with everything that happened, they see themselves as weak and unable to protect themselves. I could also feel the desperation of both Xavier and Ryan. They are haunted by the fact that they were unable to catch their prey when they had their chance. Now by their inability to bring to justice the tormentors of their significant others is creating anxiety for these characters. Being privy to all these characters’ voices throughout this story made a fantastic blend of love, strength, fear and justice.
Jane Blythe is not afraid to make her antagonists truly sinister and deplorable. She is a show not tell kind of writer and I applaud that. She is able to take us right along with her characters. It could make some of the scenes hard to digest for people of a sensitive nature but I really feel that to truly understand the motivations for a killer you have to be able to understand how they think and feel. Even more frightening is that people like these characters have existed. That thought alone makes me shudder.
Another great installment to a suspenseful series! What was even better was a very small thread that when teased brought out another storyline. One of a stalker whose obsession has taken a menacing turn. This character was introduced in the previous book of this series. I am just burning with curiosity to see if this storyline will develop in the next book?! I recommend this series to readers who enjoy reading crime thrillers!
*Thank you to Jane Blythe for this complimentary copy of Three*