Category Archives: Serial Killers

Book Case #86 – Elysium Dreams

Elysium Dreams

Book and Author Details:
Elysium Dreams on Good Reads
Elysium Dreams on Amazon
Hadena James’ Website
Hadena James Facebook

Description from Author:

In the cold, dark nights of Alaska, a hunter is stalking his prey. Once found, he takes them into the woods and skins them alive, prolonging the experience as much as he can, but the satisfaction always wanes.

Aislinn Cain and the Serial Crimes Unit head for the north to find this brutal and cruel killer. The climate is harsh, the locals are hostile, and each day the unsub moves closer to claiming his next trophy – Aislinn.

My Review:
I have to admit, I am a new fangirl of Hadena James’ Dreams and Reality series. I was sent book two after reviewing book one, and fell even more in love with the characters within the pages. I am addicted to the character development. I am drawn in and eager to know more. 

Aislinn “Ace” Cain and the SCTU head to Alaska to track a methodical serial killer. With her misfit team members and a new team lead, Ace digs deep into the mind of this Hunter styled serial killer. He takes his victims and mutilates them in a fascinating method. But the more they dig, the more they feel it could be one of their very own.

Again, as readers we are left with asking ourselves, “Will he get too close to Ace?

I loved this book so much more than the first one. I’ve been completely pulled into this series. I’m connected to the team, and Ace. I want to know more about their history, what made them this way, and so much more. I am super glad the end we found out about the new Team Lead a bit more.

One more thing that I thoroughly enjoy about these books by author Hadena James, is that she makes me think. She writes about things I am uneducated about, which leads me to the internet researching. I have learned quite a bit between the first and second book on subjects like sociopaths vs. psychopaths, medieval torture devices, and various medications. Anyone who can write a book that leaves me to reach out and search for further answers is outstanding to me.

I cannot wait for book two, “Mercurial Dreams”

 

Book Case #85 – Tortured Dreams

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Book and Author Details:
Tortured Dreams – Good Reads
Tortured Dreams – Amazon —- FREE ON AMAZON KINDLE
Hadena James’ Website
Hadena James Facebook

Description from Author:

When the US Marshals Serial Crimes Tracking Unit comes knocking at Aislinn Cain’s door, she is given a chance to use her past to save other people’s futures. She has survived attacks by two different serial killers and devoted her life to studying the darker side of human history.

A new killer is using medieval torture methods to slay his victims. She can give them a glimpse into his twisted world, but not without a cost. If she opens herself, she risks falling into the depths of her own darkness. Can she afford to help, knowing that the cost could be her own humanity?

Aislinn Cain’s life is a horror story.

My Review:
I received this book from author Hadena James as an ARC copy. I genuinely enjoyed this book.

The protagonist is Aislinn. She’s a bit “off”, and by that I mean she’s a sociopath. Her whole life she’s attracted very unsavory individuals. She’s a lot like Dexter. She is aware of her mental disorder, so she harnesses her sociopath tendencies towards serial killers. She has few true friends, one being her cousin, one being her “mom” and one being Malachi, a psychopath who works for the government.

Aislinn is headhunted by an elite group of detectives from the US Marshals. They need her insight and expertise to help them track down a cryptic serial killer that uses medieval torture devices to kill their prey. Will Aislinn and the team that newly recruited her be able to catch the killer before another set of ten are found tortured to death?

Overall, I have to say, I love this book. I can see a few minor errors in grammar and spelling. My biggest complaint I had with the book was that I  found quite a bit of of redundancy with Aislinn, her team, and the description of the torture devices. Literally, she would describe the device with a completed description, a team member would ask a question, and she would answer the question exactly the same as she had described two sentences prior.. But overall, I was really into this book.

I can only thank the author for giving me something great to read that was not zombie based. This book is one of 7 in the series so far. I loved the idea behind Aislinn and her social dysfunction, her focus and her team.

I am really glad what happened to their team leader, Alejandro, took place when it did. He made a great antagonist in the story. Good, quick read of a novel. Enticing and entertaining. 

Book Case #84 – Cut

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Book and Author Details:
Cut on Good Reads
Cut on Amazon
Rob Bliss’ Author Page Good Reads
Rob Bliss on Facebook
Necro Publications

Description from Author:

Dear Diary,

I am a star. I’ve finally found the yellow brick road to fame. I could teach anyone. As long as they are willing to die for it.
———————
A bomb goes off in Buffalo, N.Y. That same day FBI agent, Daryll Peltier, receives the first of many correspondences from a serial killer calling themselves, Sam-I-Am.

The gruesome torture and murders of the killer’s victims are filmed and broadcast on live television. Creating a puzzling masterpiece of blood and torture which the FBI can’t unravel.

Daryll and her partner, Frank Zepano, began a hunt for the killer across the continental United States and into the Caribbean. The hunt involves cryptic messages, a strange and powerful cult, an unstoppable nano virus, the International Space Station, a trailer park psychic, a tabloid newspaper journalist, a computer hacker, the Oscars…and a body count of one victim per state

My Review:
I received this book from Necro Publications/Bedlam Press as an ARC. This was a complete book series from Rob Bliss called, “Necro Psycho Series.” This is a remarkable book for any crime/mystery/cop thriller book lover. Rob Bliss, the author, really knows how to spin a crime story. 

The story opens on an elderly man walking through the streets of New York. He’s going about his daily business, as fast as his old body will allow him; with ice and snow too boot. As he finishes up his morning chores, he crosses a street, and a bomb goes off.

Agents, police entities, paramedics, injured and the dead are spilled out amongst the wreckage, blood and damage after the bomb. As the investigations begin, Agent Daryll Peltier receives her first message from a twisted, horrific serial killer. As the novel plays out, more correspondences cross Daryll’s desk. Victims are mutilated, tortured, and eventually killed.

CONS: 
Although the book was well written and entertaining, it was long and wordy as well. Even in the author’s description, “Daryll and her partner, Frank Zepano, began a hunt for the killer across the continental United States and into the Caribbean. The hunt involves cryptic messages, a strange and powerful cult, an unstoppable nano virus, the International Space Station, a trailer park psychic, a tabloid newspaper journalist, a computer hacker, the Oscars…and a body count of one victim per state” you can see that there is an over abundance of plot lines and information taking place. I think a huge portion of the story could be cut out to make it a more precise, attention grabbing novel. It could easily be cut down. 

The only other aspect of the novel I didn’t enjoy was the gory, bloody descriptions. The gore factor was a bit over the top and I found myself skipping pages just to get through the novel(s). 

All in all, this is a thrill pleasing crime novel for any enthusiast of this genre’. 

Blessed are the Dead – Excerpt Offer

BlessedAretheDead

Blessed are the Dead Excerpt Download:
BLESSED ARE THE DEAD is out from Witness Impulse on 6/1/2014 in ebook format. Click here for Free 2 Chapters Except.

Description:

Kristi Belcamino relies on her knowledge gained from working as a crime reporter at newspapers in California, specifically in her experience with a serial killer who police and FBI agents liked to several kidnappings and murders. Belcamino’s personal past colors this smart, thrilling novel with a unique new voice.

BLESSED ARE THE DEAD offers chilling, authentic glimpses into the mind of a psychopath while also mining the psyche of an extremely likeable protagonist. The novel sets up a new series featuring Gabriella Giovanni, an Italian-American Bay Area crime reporter. BLESSED ARE THE MEEK, the second book in the series will be published in July.

 

Book Case #63 – Spirits in the Trees

Author, Book &/or Publisher:
Author’s Website
Author’s Facebook Page
Author’s Good Reads Page
Spirits in the Trees – Good Reads
Spirits in the Trees – Amazon

Description:

SOME FAMILY SECRETS ARE BETTER LEFT BURIED.
An abandoned house, a psychotic killer, and a victim reaching out from the grave. A woman must unearth deadly family secrets before she becomes a ghost herself.

My Review:
I received and read my books out of order; on my part not on the part of the distributor.  Spirit in the Trees is book one of the Spirits Trilogy. I read book two, “Spirits Among Us” by the same author. You can read my review here, Book Case #61.

I am glad I had a chance to read this book, especially after starting with book two. This book was a fantastic mix of paranormal entities, evil trapped energies, and a haunting family secret. 

Once again, author Morgan Hannah MacDonald was successful in capturing my attention with a well written, creepy story. I look forward to book #3. She’s a strong author with a wonderful talent of mixing romance, mystery and ghosts.

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Book Case #61 – Spirits Among Us

Author, Book &/or Publisher:
Author’s Website
Author’s Facebook Page
Author’s Good Reads Page

S.A.U. on Good Reads
S.A.U. on Amazon

Description:

Jon-Luc Boudreaux is in Paris hunting a serial killer. That’s nothing new, neither is being haunted by the victims, but watching the murders through the killers eyes, now that’s something new entirely

After she’s blacklisted by the fashion industry in New York, Angela Henderson moves to Paris, France. Designing clothes is in her blood and she’ll stop at nothing to realize her dream.

In an effort to determine his next course of action, Jon-Luc heads to Paris to visit an old friend. The moment he arrives, he’s asked to assist with a case. It’s Fashion Week and the bodies of mutilated models are being discovered all over the city. Now Jon-Luc is on the hunt for the most diabolical killer he’s ever encountered and Angie’s next on his list.

My Review:
I actually really liked this book. I found it advertised in a Paranormal Book Group on facebook: FB Group. I asked for an ARC copy and was sent one. I thought, “Hey serial killer, psychic abilities, murders.. Right on!” I was pleasantly surprised. I read the book quickly as it kept my interest from jump.

Jon-Luc, Cajun FBI Agent, recently retired from the FBI and is heading out to search for his next step in life. He decides to travel to Paris to visit a friend. Claude, his French Police Detective, is involved in a series of murders. It is apparent that the serial killers is not only increasing in victims, but in the horrific manner of killing them. His time span between victims is closing in. Claude asks  Jon to help him. Jon, a clairvoyant, has a unique tie with this killer. He can see through his eyes and the victims.

While in Paris, he also quickly falls for a stubborn, mouthy fashion designer…. who is next on the serial killer’s list.

The story line was good and engaging. The characters were enticing. The romantic aspect, and sexual interludes, were not over done. I really enjoyed the twists and turns the author took with this novel. Since this is book #2 in a trilogy, I will be asking for book #1. I would love to read more from this author.

Questions/Dislikes: *** spoiler alert ***
1. Demonic Aspect. The book and the flow of the story was done well enough that the added aspect of demonic activity truly wasn’t needed. Jon-Luc really didn’t need the additional aspect of fighting a demon. I get that it makes an interesting twist, but I think with him fighting the killer alone, and whom the killer turned out to be, it was an unneeded additional story line. 

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Book Case #56 – Ghost Music

Patrick Linder's Ghost Music cover

Sample a bit of the novel by clicking this link:
piq_36734_400x400Preview 1st Chapter

Author & Publisher Information:
Author Website
Author’s Facebook
Ghost Music on Good Reads
Ghost Music on Amazon
Publisher’s Website

Description:

Seattle Detective Marcus Brace is falling apart, both professionally and personally. But a brutal murder and a phone call from family long-forgotten force Marcus to face everything he’s been running from and consider how sins from the past haunt those in the present. With those closest to him targeted, Marcus is on a race to find not just a killer but also pieces of a family mystery that no one wants to acknowledge.

My Review:
So many great thing about this book, but the one I want to lead off with is the fact that it is based in Seattle. I love anything that can bring me mentally back to where my heart resides. I can envision everything from the damp, dank, dark Seattle days to the trip Detective Brace takes to Puyallup. Thank you, Mr. Linder, for gifting me an ARC copy that held a greater gift within.

Broken.. from youth to adulthood, and constantly left abandoned, Det. Brace finds himself  in a whirlwind of raw sexual attraction to another Detective in his precinct, battling “Right-Way” a straight as an arrow partner who does everything by the books, and neck deep in a murder investigation that seems to have him targeted in the eye of this storm brewing.

His fostered/surrogate family is targeted. His ex-wife is targeted. He is targeted. Hell, even his dog is targeted. He has to figure out how to make work and personal life mesh to solve this serial killer’s spree. Hopefully, by the end of the case, not only will he prove himself worthy again, but gain back is feeling of worthiness. This case finds him digging into his past, his family’s past, in hopes to regain his future.

Everything about this book, from the aesthetically pleasing cover to how well written the novel itself was, makes it the perfect crime novel. If I was working on a 5 star rating system here at Haunted Book Case, I’d give this novel 50. I definitely look forward to anything further this author puts out. He’s a fantastic writer.Very impressive with how he structures the story around you.

The next I want to cover are the stark, aching pains Det. Brace endures. I related so much to his character it hurt. My soul ached, truly and painstakingly, ached. Here are some of the quotes within the book that resonated within, even at this moment a day after finishing the book.

“Self-doubt and self-loathing are like tar: they’re sticky and the more you pull and try to remove them, the more you just seem to get the rest of you dirty.”
I know this feeling. I embody the depression that follows the sticky, dirty grime that is left behind by each negative word echoing inside.

“The gentlest of rain, only a touch more than mist, fell softly to the street. The tiny, cool drops pricked my skin just enough for the wetness to feel cleansing and invigorating without being sloppy or overwhelming. The silence of this particular version of Seattle precipitation always appeals to me.”
Awe, Seattle, I miss you. I crave your rain on my face like the wash of tears after a moment of weeping.

“…his soul atrophied with anxiety, terrified to act in the present because he couldn’t escape the past. I saw all of that and my own fear washed away, oozing from my body along with the blood that continued to drip from my wounds. Fright gave way to a warm tingling and my own choppy laughter, broken from the spasms of pain that each chuckle sent through my injured body.”
I don’t normally drop the F*bomb on my “professional” blog, but FUCK.. if this isn’t a powerful, moving sentiment.

“We need past and present to boomerang into each other. Their collisions fill in our gaps, complete our narratives and smooth over the jerky spots in the time-lapse movie that we all live. You don’t escape history; you don’t avenge history. You live history, every day, scars and all.”
Again, with the powerful punch to the a person’s psyche.

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Book Case #55 – Never Alone

Never Alone

Author & Publisher Information:
Author’s Website
Author’s Facebook
Never Alone on Amazon
Never Alone on Llewellyn
Publisher’s Website
Description:

If it weren’t for booze and one-night stands, NYPD detective Megan McGinn probably couldn’t deal with the losses in her life. She’s just buried her dad, a retired cop, and has to move her mother, ravaged by late-stage Alzheimer’s, into a nursing home. Solving a recent high-profile homicide has made Megan a reluctant celebrity, but the guilt of spending time away from her struggling family is too much to bear.

Overwhelmed by the pressure, Megan is ready to walk away from the police force, but a brutal murder brings her back. The victim, an attractive young woman, was strangled, groomed, posed . . . and worse. With heat coming from the press, city hall, and her boss, the danger escalates as Megan is forced to turn to a sadistic perp from a previous case for help.

My Review:

There is such a spin on the title, highly clever and I wonder if the author was intentional in doing so?

Never Alone is a book about an Irish Catholic NYC Homicide Detective by the name of Megan McGinn. She had just closed out an important case leaving her with a bit of notoriety. Having just lost her father, who is the world to her, she’s ready to just throw in her detective’s badge. Her partner, Sam, convinces her to check out one more cryptic, sadistic murder scene. Reluctantly, McGinn agrees.

This starts a whole spiral into religious undertones, faith and lack there of, murder and suspense. McGinn’s new case revolves around Irish Catholic beliefs, realy hitting home for her. From the Claddagh to Saint Brigid’s Cross to Saint Brigid herself, McGinn has to use her keen instinct in solving one of the most disturbing cases for her. What makes it so disturbing? The killer is tracking her now. Stealing personal items to leaving mementos after each kill, personally directed towards the lead detective herself.

This is where the cleverness of “Never Alone” comes in. McGinn, although feels utterly alone in this life now that her father has passed, comes to realize she is Never Alone. With a killer at her back and God at her front. The title of the this novel brought to mind a song called, “Never Alone” by Christian Rock group BarthlowGirl (Which was introduced to me by my fiance’.)

The whole pretense is that even if you’re alone, you’re truly never alone with God in your corner. Detective McGinn learns this as she works her way through this eerie, incredibly, novel.

Never Alone, is to be released later in 2014. You can order ARC copies and pre-order on the links above. This is book #1 in the author’s Detective Megan McGinn’s series. I will definitely read more by this author. C.J. Carpenter is a knack for creating believable and relateable characters. She is great with developing a sense of unease through her scenes. I foresee a wonderful career in this new author’s future.

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Book Case #48 – December Park

Book and Author Details: This book is scheduled to be released in May 2014. I received an advanced review copy from the publishing company.

December Park on Amazon
Ronald Malfi’s Facebook
Ronald Malfi’s Website
Medallion Media Group

Description from Author:

In the fall of 1993, the quiet suburb of Harting Farms is shocked when children begin to vanish, and one is found dead near December Park—a great, sweeping expanse that is sunken below the streets and surrounded on three sides by vast woodlands—a place children believe is haunted.

Newspapers call the abductor the Piper because he has come to lead children away, while kids whisper darker names for him in the school halls.

Angelo Mazzone and his friends discover a link to the dead girl and take up the search for the killer, vowing to stop the Piper’s reign of terror. Their teenage pledge becomes a journey of self-discovery and an odyssey into the darkness of their own hometown.

My Review:
FIRST BOOK TO HIT MY 2014 BEST OF BOOK LIST!!
It’s going to be too hard to top this one. This was THE BEST BOOK to kick off the New Year with.


As you might be aware, I have read and reviewed a number of other books by author Ronald Malfi:
Cradle Lake
Floating Staircase

Now that I have had the chance to read an advanced copy of “December Park”, I truly feel that the previous two were stepping stones into the mind and writing styles of Ronald Malfi. They were the meat and bones to cut my baby teeth on. December Park was so much more than a story to me, it was life itself. To me, it was very “Stand By Me” meets “Kings of Summer“, and in one brief moment, very very “A Christmas Story.”

I am now totally a fan girl. I am so in love with the author’s word usage and ability to build a new world around me with each page. His writing and stories remind me very much of my early reading years reading the first Dean Koontz book, “Servants of Twilight.” I am going to eagerly devour all the books from Mr. Malfi that I can get my chubby fingers on.

There are so many wonderful things to say about this book, and because I tend to get rather ADHD when it comes to books I am eagerly emphatic about, I am going to list them out.

1. Writing style.
Holy smeg! Malfi is truly gifted when it comes to writing. I literally went from anger, sadness, eagerness, sadness, suspense in waiting, page turning, up ALL NIGHT (even though it was on a work night) just to get to the end. I had to know who the Piper was. But more so, I had was so attracted to the characters, scenery, town and troubles that I felt that I was “there.” So realistic. It was like reading the journal of a real teenager. I had to know what was going to happen to them all. I actually had a momentary breakdown when I finished the book. I did not want their book lives to end. I need to know more. I want to watch them grow up, become men. The epilogue, however, was so elegantly written it was all the closure I really needed.

2. Era.
It’s almost as if Ronald dipped into my life as a teenager and wrote about the perceived “hoodlums” I was friends with. Each of us looking sloppy and slovenly, like they just did not care anymore, but in reality we were the most loyal bunch of kids. This is exactly how I saw Angie and his gang, even the awkward Adrian.

I love the characters in this book. I love the relationships, their idiosyncrasies, their strengths and weaknesses. Most of all, I love that they remind me of a day and age when I too thought I was invincible. From the mention of Seattle Grunge fashion to the death of Nirvana, all very fresh in my almost 40yr old mind. I remember each of the bands, music, clothing, and Kirk Cobain like I just stepped out of my high school yesterday. SO WELL WRITTEN!

3. Creativeness.
I love how much work Mr. Malfi put into this novel. It’s as if he reached into his childhood and shared what was deep in his psyche. Everything from the structuring of sentences to the poetic written illustrations to the relationships between friends, enemies and parents. Angie, reminds me a lot of my son, who is now 17. I see the clumsiness of being that awkward age. That fine line that is drawn in life when you morph from curious wide eyed child taking on the world to seeing, witnessing and feeling too much that eventually matures you into adult. I see the boys in this novel trying so hard to keep that intrigue and curiosity. SO DAMNED WELL WRITTEN. 

4. Twists and turns.
I had no freaking clue that’s who the Piper was going to be. No clue. Incredibly well done. I was so busy worrying and wondering about the boys, that I never seen the ending come the way it did. I was completely captivated from the “evidence” they found. I too was curious about who they had on their suspect list. I was for sure it was that cop following them. But much to my surprise, NOTHING was predictable about this book. Well, maybe one thing. That douche’ bag Keener.

Negatives:
This is just an aesthetic “negative” if you will.  It wasn’t until I was half way through the second “book” in the novel that I realized the chapters had titles that were pertinent to the story itself. The chapter numbers are written out in a larger font than the title below it. I would switch that around. It makes it more eye catching and noticeable. I rarely pay attention to what chapter I’m on. If the author is creative enough to title each chapter, I’d rather see the title more so than the chapter number.

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Book Case #30 – Tuesday’s Child

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Book is still available for free on Amazon right now. Click the book cover to take you to Amazon for your download.

Book and Author Details:
Dale Mayer’s Website
Dale Mayer’s Facebook 
Tuesday’s Child on Good Reads
Tuesday’s Child on Amazon

Description from Author:

Shunned and ridiculed all her life for something she can’t control, Samantha Blair hides her psychic abilities and lives on the fringes of society. Against her will, however, she’s tapped into a killer—or rather, his victims. Each woman’s murder, blow-by-blow, ravages her mind until their death releases her back to her body. Sam knows she must go to the authorities, but will the rugged, no-nonsense detective in charge of tracking down the killer believe her?

Detective Brandt Sutherland only trusts hard evidence, yet Sam’s visions offer clues he needs to catch a killer. The more he learns about her incredible abilities, however, the clearer it becomes that Sam’s visions have put her in the killer’s line of fire. Now Brandt must save her from something he cannot see or understand…and risk losing his heart in the process.

As danger and desire collide, passion raises the stakes in a game Sam and Brandt don’t dare lose.

My Review:

This book was also offered free on Amazon. I am not sure if I just hit a treasure trove of books, or if Amazon was being super cool and giving away a lot of freebies, either way.. needless to say.. I was a happy camper. I read the author’s description and knew this was going to be my next book to read, regardless of my “Review Schedule.” 

This book is part one of a series called, “Psychic Vision” novels. Man o’ Man! I want to look into the other books as well. Dale Mayer is a standout author.  I have to say, she definitely made a fan out of me. I love her writing style with twists and turns. She created a very twisted story that burns into your mind of the possibilities.

This is not a traditional unbelieving cop with a chip on his shoulder story. Detective Brandt believes, and for Sam, it is hard to believe someone has her back. Brandt is an edgy detective who believes in all possibilities outside of “good old traditional hard detective work.”

Sam, a frail but not weak, psychic is plagued with visions that literally leave her brutally beaten, bloody and broken. Similar to stigmata, Sam experiences everything the murder victim goes through prior to death. She’s tapped into a serial killer but through the eyes of his victims.

I could not get enough of this book. It has just the right recipe for romance, paranormal, and serial killing. GET THIS BOOK NOW… while it is still free on Amazon!!