Two detectives hunt a serial killer. The killer is hunting them.
A lone trucker is ambushed, shot, and brutally stabbed. A tourist meets the same fate while out for a jog. Facing two crime scenes that could have come from a horror movie, Detectives Carly Sanderson and Sergio Martin search for the crazed serial killer.
Five more attacks happen in a week, launching the entire city into a panic and causing the mayor to throw all of the city’s resources into stopping the rampage. But while the detectives work around the clock, they don’t know the killer has upped the game—by making them his next targets.
At first, the killings seem random, just the actions of a deranged mind.
I found the descriptive powers of the author, combined with the smell of blood quite stomach churning as I searched for clues. I knew it would be a bit gruesome going in, but wasn’t quite prepared for the intensity of the murder scenes. The author has a very powerful imagination!
I loved the easy relationship between the two main characters, detectives Carly and Sergio. A most unusual pair, but real people, warts and all!
The casual dropping into the story half way through of a major clue as to the killer’s identity almost ruined the story for me, but it was cleverly done and hard to spot.
If I have one criticism about this book, it has to be about the killer. I can normally empathise or sometimes even admire most killers. I mean, they are usually damaged in some way, driving them to murder. Try as I might, I could find no redeeming feature in this man.
Here’s hoping the sequel finds Carly and Sergio with a far more interesting antagonist…
The wind gusted, sending the trash into the street in a tiny tornado. Lifting and dropping a McDonald’s hamburger wrapper, the little vortex danced and raged; then, as quickly as it had come, it was gone. The pieces of trash twitched and were still. The chill in the air remained, though. That wasn’t going anywhere tonight.
He glanced down the street. In the darkness, a shadow moved. Sergio held his breath. Opposite side of the street. The motion indicated walking. Tall. Probably a male.
This is our pedestrian.
Moving his gaze back to the sidewalk before anyone could tell him to, Sergio watched the stranger while keeping his face pointed at the ground. The man walked with his hands in the front pockets of his hoodie. The stride was long but not fast. The pedestrian seemed to intentionally sway his shoulders, as if he was walking up a steep hill.
When he’s closer, let him see you see him, then immediately look away. Head down, submissive.
The stranger kept coming. Sergio kept walking, his heart pounding.
What if this is our guy?
If it’s our guy, he will approach you. Keep walking. Casual.
The stranger got closer. He was larger than Sergio had originally estimated. Thicker, and taller.
Maybe six foot two, maybe a little more.
Eyes down. Don’t act like a cop.
He’d have to be big to do all that stabbing, to overcome a big guy like Leo.
But he used a gun to help.
Sergio glanced at the hands in the hoodie pockets. Could that conceal a .38? The man looked Sergio’s way.
He didn’t think eye contact was made, but if the man had seen Sergio looking, maybe that was the time to walk faster.
Maybe we’ll speed up a little anyway.
On opposite sides of the street, the two men neared each other. Forty feet away, then thirty.
Sergio’s head was humming. This is how he did the jogger. Right on the street. A shot to the chest and then he started stabbing.
The bulletproof vest will protect you from both for a while. Long enough for the teams to get here…
Sergio forced himself to take a long, slow breath and walk slower without appearing to be trying. Sweat gathered on his forehead.
The man had heavy movements, a clumping kind of stride like someone might do when they were wearing new construction boots that don’t quite fit. The stranger stayed on one side of the street; Sergio stayed on the other. The sidewalk turned to gravel and then to mud. Sergio stepped around a big puddle and into the street.
The stranger’s voice cut the quiet night like a knife. Sergio didn’t look up. He kept his head down and kept walking.
“I got fives and tens, my man. If you lookin’ to party.”
Drug talk. Could be a street seller and nothing more. And if the killer was watching, what would he expect Sergio to do? Or if it’s the killer, what would work best?
The sergeant was loud in his ear. “Do not engage, Walking Boss. If it’s our guy he’s not trying to sell you drugs. Keep walking.”
Sergio did not move.
“Walking Boss, do you copy? Please respond.”
Sergio turned toward the stranger, keeping his head low and peering upward. He took a step toward the big man.
“Walking Boss, we are not receiving your signal. Please respond.”
His eyes. I want to see his eyes.
The man crossed into the street, dropping his hands to his sides. Sergio held his ground. Sweat dripped down the side of his head and into his ear. To wipe it free might draw attention to the earpiece. He let it go, taking a step toward the stranger. “What kind of stuff you got?”
“Walking Boss, do not engage. Do you read me?”
“Just the basics right here. Fives and tens.” The stranger pointed to the hoodie pocket. “But I can get something else if you want.”
The shadow of the hoodie kept the man’s face dark, but his features were coming visible. The man’s teeth were yellow and his eyes were red. Could be a drug addict or could be a killer.
“Walking Boss! Do you read me?”
The red eyes moved forward. “What you want, bro?”
The way he said it made the hairs on the back of Sergio’s neck stand up. The sneer, the thickness of the voice, like he dreamed it. He fought to not react, holding his breath. His racing pulse throbbed in his ears as a drop of ice cold sweat trickled down his back.
It’s not him. It’s not him. It’s not him.
International bestselling author Dan Alatorre has 17 titles published in over a dozen languages.
From Romance in Poggibonsi to action and adventure in the sci-fi thriller The Navigators, to comedies like Night Of The Colonoscopy: A Horror Story (Sort Of) and the heart-warming and humorous anecdotes about parenting in the popular Savvy Stories series, his knack for surprising audiences and making you laugh or cry – or hang onto the edge of your seat – has been enjoyed by audiences around the world.
And you are guaranteed to get a page turner every time.
“That’s my style,” Dan says. “Grab you on page one and then send you on a roller coaster ride, regardless of the story or genre.”
Readers agree, making his string of #1 bestsellers popular across the globe.
His unique writing style can make you chuckle or shed tears—sometimes on the same page (or steam up the room if it’s one of his romances). Regardless of genre, his novels always contain unexpected twists and turns, and his endearing nonfiction stories will stay in your heart forever.
25 eBook Marketing Tips You Wish You Knew, co-authored by Dan, has been a valuable tool for upcoming writers (it’s free if you subscribe to his newsletter) and his dedication to helping new authors is evident in his wildly popular blog “Dan Alatorre – AUTHOR.”
Dan’s success is widespread and varied. In addition to being a bestselling author, he has achieved President’s Circle with two different Fortune 500 companies. You can find him blogging away almost every day on http://www.DanAlatorre.com or watch his hilarious YouTube show every week, Writers Off Task With Friends.
Dan resides in the Tampa, Florida area with his wife and daughter.