So going to get straight to the point here – I absolutely loved this book! One of the most enjoyable reads I’ve had in a while. I couldn’t read it fast enough – it’s another Richard & Judy Book Club recommendation ❤ that I am uber pleased that I’ve read – not that I’ve ever not been happy with a book that they’ve recommended.
Honestly, what’s not to like? It’s about a sassy 50-something ex- FBI agent/cop, Brigid Quinn, trying to settle down with life in retirement with her quirky professor of a husband, when a case she was obsessed with in her final years as an agent comes back to bite her in the ass. This last case, that still haunts her many years later, centers on a serial murderer known as the Route 66 killer. Every summer, the murderer would abduct a woman, slit her tendons so she couldn’t run, rape and then kill her – ditching her mutilated body in a different location each year for the police to find. Quinn becomes consumed with finding the killer; but as she was too old to pose as a vulnerable woman on the Route 66 road at the time – hence the Route 66 killer – she trains a younger, 22 year old agent, Jessica, to lure the killer. She convinced herself that Jessica was ready to go out in the field, even though deep down she knew that it was too soon. But the plan works – it works all too well. The killer not only takes the bait, but kills the bait too. Quinn and her team spend years trying to find Jessica’s body, but they never do.
Quinn is still trying to move on from Jessica’s death on her conscious several years later, when she gets a knock on the door saying that the killer has been found and can take the police to Jessica’s body. But as Quinn gets sucked back into the case, and looks deeper into the details of the killer’s confession, she is convinced that he is a fraud. Which means the real killer is still out there, and might potentially strike again.
This book is written and edited so fantastically – I honestly cannot praise it enough. The details are forensic and chilling, and deal with some rather unsettling stuff, from gruesome murder and mummification to necrophilia. But at the same time, it is an easy and entertaining read. It’s a thriller (the stuff I am thoroughly enjoying at the moment!), but I found myself laughing out loud at times, and then at other moments like HOLY CRAP THIS IS SCARY (this mostly happened when I was huddled in my bed at 3am reading with the faint glow of my lamp in the corner of my room lol). The balance between being entertaining yet simultaneously thrilling is a hard one to achieve, and I think Masterman has skillfully done this through the confident and compelling protagonist that is Quinn – a no-nonsense, attractive, intelligent and totally fearless female lead. The tone of voice and pace throughout the novel is absolutely brilliant – it’s simultaneously outlandish yet incredibly personable and utterly believable. If you’re looking for an easy autumn read which appeases your CSI sensibilities – this novel is perfect for you! For the pure enjoyment of reading it I cannot recommend it enough.
I also decided to stalk the author a bit half way through reading it because I was enjoying it so much, and was delighted to find that it’s part of a series of books, and this is the first one! So next on my ever-growing reading list: Brigid Quinn #2: Fear the Darkness!
Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ out of 5 (coz 5 stars are reserved for those books that have moved my soul to the edges of my soul, so 4 stars is pretty much top notch really) – would highly recommend 😀