This was an unusual case due to the cryptic clues, few frozen body parts, and it seemed to cross over into many jurisdictions. There was also the possibility of more than one killer. Her thoughts also wandered to the detective in charge of the case, and how he would pursue the investigation. It would prove beneficial if they shadowed him as well.
Emily Stone fans will continue to find great satisfaction in the latest of this fantastic series! Compulsion was my first novel in the series in 2009 and the main character has made her mark for the many followers since then... But her latest book, from those I have read by this author, is the Best of Her Best!
Not only does Stone continue to amaze and delight as she and her beloved partner, go behind legal lines to accomplish and solve many cases that have stopped the legal agencies, she does it in hair-raising scenes out of which readers think she can never succeed... In this book, her first job is to find and release a small child who has been captured... I might add that the setting, the environment in which the child was found was, well, ghastly...so be prepared...
Interestingly, Chase pulls in an earlier case of another child who was saved years ago. Through the Prologue, that child's story is relived...and we then find her in an obsessive need in her present life to find and repeat her intensive gratitude to the woman who had saved her...But what she does is add a layer of confusion as she searches, follows, and ultimately places herself and Stone's life in danger...
While a sometime member of the Stone team joins the twosome and presents an interesting romance drama as both of the male team members are obviously in love with Emily. Emily plays a light counterbalance to keeping things stable and functioning... But it sure helps break the tension for readers!
But all that is minor compared to Chase's creation of this book's villain! One of the reasons why these books are so fascinating is trying to give millions of us the answer to... Why? Why does this type of thing happen in real life? Just as we asked yesterday--in Las Vegas--why did it happen?!!!
And in the fourth chapter, the new case begins...when body parts are found...
THE CELLPHONE BUZZED SEVERAL TIMES before it went to voice mail. A few moments later, it buzzed again rattling the phone on the coffee table. Detective Daniel Starr stirred slightly on the couch from his comfortable napping position. He had had good intentions to go out and do something fun for his birthday, but when he arrived home, he thought he would take a short nap to re-energize.
The phone rang again. “All right,” barked Starr as he sat up and rubbed his eyes.
He saw that it was the watch commander, which really meant that there was another homicide. Starr snapped up the cellphone and with a groggy voice said, “Starr.”
He listened as Watch Commander Diaz explained to him, “We need your participation at a crime scene—of sorts.” He paused. “What’s the problem? Is it a primary or secondary or what?” Starr asked. His interest was piqued now by the commander’s hesitation and cryptic descriptions.
“Definitely not the primary, maybe not the secondary and it’s not really a crime scene, but a body dump.”
“Sir, just spit it out.”
“M.E. Stansfield has requested your assistance specifically on this one,” he answered.
“Okay, give me the details,” asked Starr.
“It’s just a frozen thigh.” Starr stood and paced while his mind reeled from the information. He wracked his brain and thought about all sorts of scenarios where a frozen body part would come from—and why. It was weird, creepy, and even resembled something from a scene in a horror movie, but it was not the first time a homicide detective, somewhere, was called in to investigate a frozen body part left in the open.
He paused before continuing. “Sir, you did say a frozen thigh?” “You heard me right.”
“Of course.” The commander gave Starr the directions and the rest of what little information was available. Starr checked his voicemail and text messages to make sure that there wasn’t anything more that needed his attention.
Eddie had left him a cryptic text fifteen minutes earlier with his usual humor: got a hot one on ice for u. See u soon.
Trying to wake up fully and hone his focus, Starr went into the bathroom and splashed water on his face. His mind spun a series of possible events that would result in a frozen thigh dumped in a rural setting. Was it a prank? He decided to change his clothes from shirt and tie to a pair of jeans and sweatshirt. It would feel better not to have anything restricting him as he investigated the scene—at least what surrounded the evidence in the park.
It unnerved Starr that someone had left a human body part in a state park where anyone, even a child, could discover it. He grabbed his wallet and keys and headed to the door. Stopping to think for a moment, Starr decided to take his new small journal with him. The detective reflected with some cynicism how a phantom detective would be a welcome addition at this point.
Moving from the case of the lost girl into the new case, and into a frustrating ordeal of trying to find out what has happened, based upon just having body parts, from the police perspective, we meet a frustrated, younger investigator, Detective Daniel Star. I liked the character... and when the climax began, he played a very intriguing, unexpected part!
Can't get into the villain on this one other than to praise Chase for the dribble effect of personal background brilliantly alternating with the specific crime planning and execution. I found myself totally involved in the background, what had been happening that ultimately led to the final break from early life to choosing payback...over and over and over... Could I possibly feel sympathy, empathy, for what had been done, when, now, so much unbridled anger occurred as each victim was carefully chosen, abducted...and tortured in one of the most horrible possible ways...
Chase keeps readers urgently moving forward as each revelation is made, discovered by either the police or, mostly, by Emily's team members... Watching the development of the crime research, its merge and manipulation by appropriate characters keeps us fully engaged and ready for the exhilarating climax presented! For series fans, don't miss this one... If you haven't yet read Jennifer Chase, well, you have already missed watching this rising star move into the likes of J.D. Robb, and other authors who've created strong female police officers we learn to respect and love... Highly recommended...
Jennifer has found her niche in the writing world by integrating another passion, criminology, into her work. She holds a bachelors degree in police forensics and a masters in criminology, academic pursuits that developed out of her curiosity about the criminal mind as well as from her own experience with a violent sociopath, providing Jennifer with deep personal investment in every story she tells. She also holds certifications in serial crime and criminal profiling and is a proud member of the International Association of Forensic Criminologists.
This research background has assisted Jennifer in writing multiple crime thrillers, including Compulsion, Dead Game, Silent Partner, Dark Mind and Dead Burn, earning multiple readers' choice awards and other accolades along the way, including a recent gold medal awarded for Dead Burn by a panel of professionals in the publishing industry as part of the International Book Awards. She also has published a non-fiction book, How to Write a Screenplay, which offers a step-by-step guide to this special craft. In addition to her own writing work, Jennifer does some consulting work in the criminology field.
Jennifer Chase was born and raised in California and still lives there with her husband, dogs and cats. In addition to writing and consulting, Jennifer enjoys spending time outdoors, both at the beach and hiking, and engaging in some amateur photography.