Saturday, February 26, 2011

Review: J. A. Konrath Gives Readers Thrilling Ride!

J. A. KonrathImage via Wikipedia

By J. A. Konrath

Konrath's main female character is Jack Daniels. Well, it is actually Lt. Jacqueline Daniels. Daniels is a cop, perhaps even a great one. But there is always one case, one criminal, that plays against the best that the cop has to give, and sometimes almost leads to...death.

Shaken has more than one of that type of criminal--and Jack Daniels has met them both. One's in jail; the other has been hired to kill Jack. This is Konrath's latest in a series; my first reading Konrath. All I can think of to say is "Whew!" What a thrilling ride he gives readers!

Shaken (Jacqueline "Jack" Daniels Mysteries) (Jacqueline "Jack" Daniels Series)
The novel moves among three time periods, one of them being August 10, Present Day. On this day, for most of the book, you see little more than one page. A short update that shares very little, so little that I at first thought that the writer really didn't need to bring us back so often. Then, however, you begin to see the buildup of what is coming and begin to want more of those updates, hoping against hope that Jack is going to make it...

It first started in 1989. A man by the name of Dalton is watching while another man is killing his latest victim, thinking that the man was more than a killer, he was a butcher.

While taking pictures, he wonders whether he should have brought color film, finally deciding that the black and white will make it more realistic--even though there's a lot of blood.

After Victor Brotsky dismembers his victim, he follows his routine, carrying the bags out to his car.

Dalton is there to greet Brotsky with his gun soon jammed against his back.

Dalton is not a cop...

He's a hit man who represents Brotsky's new employer. He doesn't want him to quit his work; he just wants to control the victim selection.

It was in 1985 that Jackqueline first heard Dr. Horner, a clinical psychiatrist, speak to the cadets about evil... A serial killer known only as Mr. K.

Three years ago, Jack worked the case that resulted in Brotsky now serving his time. But with each case, there is always the question in her mind, is this man Mr. K? And then she meets him...

And there is just no way she can get away!

Giving readers a very surprising ending, Konrath pulls readers through i wondering when all this is going to end, but hoping it doesn't until Jack Daniels becomes the heroine of the novel. I think that ending must have just sent me backward to catch up on the Jack Daniels series and maybe even Blake Crouch, another new author to me--sooooo many books, sooooo little time! Is this a battle of serial killers? If you are a fan of this sub-genre, and haven't read this author, you won't want to miss this book.

Tell me, "What is true evil? Someone who enjoys committing evil acts? Or someone who commits evil acts for monetary gain?" (p. 110). After reading this book, I'm thinking it depends upon whether I'm the victim or the cop... Readers, you know of you'll think this a must-read!

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  1. Hi, Glenda.

    I loved this book so much that I finished it in under 24 hours. I can't wait for the followup which I believe is this fall.

    Russell Brooks
    Author of the Action/Thriller Pandora's Succession

  2. Russell, I enjoyed it also, and probably gave you competition on time...even though I read more than one book at a time...LOL

    I'm not sure about the next one, based upon what will take place...hate to risk seeing what we might! LOL

    Have you read any of his earlier books? Are they as good?

    Hope your sales are going well on your own great thriller!


  3. Glenda,

    I've read all of JA Konrath's Jack Daniels books. They're all good. His next, he says, will be his last in the Jack Daniels series.

    My novel will be out in paperback soon. I'm working on other projects right now.

    Russell Brooks
    Author of the Action/Thriller Pandora's Succession

  4. Thanks for feedback. My "only" hesitation in taking the time to go backwards is indeed because he's stopping the series. If it were still going to be moving forward, it would surely beckon me.

    Are you going to do anything like a series? If not, I won't ask what your next book will be...I'll just wait for it!

    Keep Writing!
    Best, Glenda