Thursday, February 8, 2018

19 Souls (Sin City Investigation #1) by J.D. Allen

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Private Investigator Jim Bean is a straightforward, to-the-point man. When his latest client, Sophie Evers, asks him to find her brother Daniel, Jim has no idea how complicated his life is about to become.

Daniel is not Sophie's brother. He is her most coveted prey. Clinging to the belief that they belong together, Sophie kills Daniel's real sister to manipulate Jim into flushing Daniel out of hiding. She will create the "perfect life" for the only man she's ever loved, no matter how many people she must kill along the way.

When Jim discovers the truth about Sophie, he's driven to set things right before her delusional plan claims even more souls.

Source: advance e-galley provided in exchange for an honest review

19 Souls is one heck of a thriller that starts with a gruesome scene where you immediately know who the bad guy or rather, girl is. Readers, she's bat shit crazy! I'll be honest, that first scene was so disturbing that I wondered if I could handle the rest of the book but I stuck with it because well... I couldn't put it down. Sophie is an intriguing villain in that she has one foot in reality and the other way off in some depraved fantasy land which is I suppose how most sociopaths work. She manages to maintain a semblance of normalcy with a day job that funds her ultimate goal: collecting knives and weaponry, stalking her childhood crush, Daniel and killing anyone in her way. It's scary how well she's planned every little detail including recruiting extra help in the form of an unsuspecting PI. Jim, who has an interesting if unfortunate backstory, is normally good at judging character but even he is fooled by Sophie's act. It's too bad that he's so darn good at his job because he's mortified when he realizes how he was used and that he single-handedly led her to her prize. Now he's determined to protect Daniel and capture Sophie before she hurts more people.

This is one suspenseful read and strangely enough, as unhinged as Sophie was, I was also fascinated by the glimpses into how the wheels were turning in her mind. It's an intense cat and mouse game as Jim uses every resource to catch up to her and anticipate her next move. I was so anxious as the action reached its climax and I felt the ending could have gone a number of ways. Since this is the start of a series and I liked it so much, I'll definitely want to read the next book when it comes out. I'm curious to know how Jim moves on from this and if the ending comes into play down the road.

~ Bel

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