5 stars out of 5
This is the second book in the series featuring Detective Matt Jones of the Los Angeles Police Department, and from where I sat (Kindle Fire in hand), it's a winner. Despite the author's note in the introduction that it's best to read the first book first - to which, as a general rule of thumb, I heartily concur - I hadn't done that, but neither did I have any trouble following the action in this one.
And boy, there's plenty of it - and for those who lean toward the squeamish, I'll warn that some of it is rather grisly. Jones is well on his way to full recovery after being shot by a hit man - which I presume happened in Book No. 1 - when he gets tapped to help the FBI with a case just outside Philadelphia. There, he encounters the gruesome murder of an entire family in their home (complete with sexual overtones). The killer is thought to be Dr. George Baylor, a serial killer Jones tried, unsuccessfully, to capture once before (also, I presume, in that first book, which for the record is City of Echoes.
Jones wants to help, although the across-the-country assignment threatens to take valuable time away from his mission of finding the person who funded the hit that nearly took his own life. But as he delves further into the family's murder, doubts begin to creep in as to whether it's really the work of the not-so-good doctor. Those doubts grow stronger when a second family bites the dust in similar fashion.
The FBI, though, always gets its man, and the powers-that-be are hell-bent on making sure it happens in this case as well. Jones goes head-to-head (and in one case, head-to-bed) with a couple of them as he tries to sort out the details and track down the killer. Along the way, he learns a few things about his personal background that are unsettling, to say the least. All of that means some unexpected plot revelations that will, no doubt, carry over to the next installment (the ending in this one certainly is a killer).
So count me in with those looking forward to hooking up with Jones in the [hopefully near] future - and I thank the author and publisher, via NetGalley, for the opportunity to read and review this one. Great story, great writing and a thoroughly enjoyable reading experience!
The Love Killings by Robert Ellis (Thomas & Mercer, August 2016); 364 pp.