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.Four by Jane Blythe
Series: Count to Ten #4
Also in this series:One, Two, Three
Also by this author: One, Two, Three, Charity's Wrath, Mackenzie's Trust, Christmas Hostage
Genres: Contemporary, Crime, Mystery, Romance, Romantic Suspense
Release Date: July 30, 2017
Publisher: Bear Spots Publications
Format: ARC, E-book
Source: Author, Jane Blythe
Purchase at: Amazon
Detective Jack Xander and his partner are investigating the sudden spate of crimes at an apartment building, but every time they think they’re making progress another assault leads them in a completely different direction. As they hunt for the killer’s real target Jack is about to come face to face with someone from his past he thought he’d never set eyes on again.
Ten years ago Laura Opal endured a four day long ordeal that left her broken and traumatized. But the men who hurt her were caught, tried, found guilty and imprisoned, so what’s happening in her apartment building can't have anything to do with her . . . can it?
** All my books contain issues of sexual assault **
I enjoy reading the Count to Ten series because Author Jane Blythe is not afraid to bring to life the graphic violence that truly can occur with crime. Before I started reading Four though, I had to take a moment and metaphorically put on my big girl panties to ready myself for this story. I might enjoy and appreciate this series but that does not mean that it doesn’t scare the hell out of me either.
What draws me to this series is that there is a method to the madness. The perpetrator(s) of the crimes always have a plan that they have put into place. So, there is a real mystery unraveling as to why the crime(s) are taking place. I manage to make it through the graphic violence because I am even more curious to understand what they are trying to accomplish but damn if the violence is not nauseating at times. I love that though, that the writing can affect me in such a way.
Jack Xander was a character introduced in the previous books. He is brother to Detective Ryan Xander from books Two and Three and in this book, Jack is brought in with his partner Rose Lace to investigate a murder that occurred in apartment 1J. The start of this story is told from the perspective of the person to find the first victim. I thought that was a nice touch. It really brought me into the story because I wanted to understand what was happening. I love the little touches that are added throughout this story. It really feels like I am a part of the investigation as well as a part of the crime.
While the crimes escalate, the police are baffled as to why they are taking place. At first, the only thing that they have in common is that they are occurring in the same apartment building. Jack and Rose decide to interview the tenants that they feel are in the greatest amount of danger because for whatever reason it seems that the psychopath is not done with that building. As they work their way through a list they compiled, they come upon the apartment of Laura Opal and what a shock for Jack. Laura was a girlfriend from high school, the one that he never forgot about. He had not recognized her name when reviewing the list on tenants because she had been using an alias.
Laura was a victim of violence of the worst kind. For the last ten years, she has been hiding in her apartment. So traumatized by her four-day abduction that she had become agoraphobic. No one in or out in ten years but she knew that she had to cooperate with the police officers that were coming to question her. When Laura opened her door to see Jack standing there she lost her cool. Everything that had been going on in the apartment building had been giving her flashbacks and reliving horrors, but to see the man that she had once loved and had shattered her heart on top of everything else was just too much.
Jack was taken aback when he saw Laura. He had no idea that Laura was living in that neighborhood. Their break-up had been so final and she made it clear that she never wanted to see him again that he had left her alone. To see her now after so many years was a shock and once he learned the truth of what had happened to her during her abduction he was horrified. It also made him even more determined to protect Laura at all costs. He also has to somehow prove to Laura that she can trust him despite the fact that he had previously proved himself to be a cad.
Once it became clear that the killer was targeting Laura and that all the violence had only been to try and get her attention did things get really twisted. Why was this happening? The perpetrators of the crime against Laura had been imprisoned so how could this be related to Laura? As the clues fall into place, the story will take you on a ride through the workings of a perverted and twisted mind that will have you turning on the lights at night.
What I appreciated the most about Four was that it is absolutely addictive. I was on the edge of my seat waiting for the next bomb to drop. It was a mixture of gut cringing disgust, horror, and dark romance. The plot turns and twists but never loses you and I completely appreciate the fact that there is a true plan behind all the crime. There is no randomness in these books. There is cunning, precision, and hawk like intensity that always leaves me grateful that I am safe in my home…with all my doors locked. Such a good read!
*Thank you to Jane Blythe for this eARC of Four*