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Wednesday, April 6, 2016


5 stars out of 5

It is with great pleasure that I describe this book in one word: Riveting

Even though I've grown a bit weary of the back-and-forth chapter format - this time between San Francisco homicide detective Clara Donner and a serial killer - I was reeled in from the get-go and didn't get off the hook until the last page.

A killer, who brutalizes victims as payback to men who abuse women of the street in the worst possible ways, leads Donner and her partner on a not-so-merry chase. I feel obligated to say that the murders aren't for the squeamish; gruesome doesn't begin to describe what the killer does to his prey, and it's described here in every gory detail. Somehow, Donner has to track him down fast, even though she believes in her heart of hearts that the victims probably got what they deserve. Connecting the dots, though, proves challenging - at least until a drug-addicted, physically and mentally damaged wisp of a girl turns up and turns out to be connected to the victims and the killer.

Donner herself is an interesting character: a crack athlete who can hold her own against the guys on the neighborhood basketball court, the daughter of a homicide cop who's dead set on disproving his belief that women have no place in the murder business. There's a little humor in here too, especially the swipe at James Patterson's Women's Murder Club series (no, even though women take center stage, Donner isn't a fan. I am, but it was funny anyway).

From beginning to end, this one has real edge-of-seat appeal. Many thanks to the author and publisher, via NetGalley, for the opportunity to read an advance copy in exchange for a review.

Everyone Pays by Seth Harwood (Thomas & Mercer, April 2016); 320 pp.

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