Sunday, August 14, 2016

Review: Huntress/FBI series by Alexandra Sokoloff

Title: Huntress Moon
Series: Huntress/FBI
Author: Alexandra Sokoloff
Read copy: eBook (Kindle)
Published: January 27, 2015
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

FBI Special Agent Matthew Roarke is closing in on a bust of a major criminal organization in San Francisco when he witnesses an undercover member of his team killed right in front of him on a busy street, an accident Roarke can’t believe is coincidental. His suspicions put him on the trail of a mysterious young woman who appears to have been present at each scene of a years-long string of “accidents” and murders, and who may well be that most rare of killers: a female serial.

Roarke’s hunt for her takes him across three states...while in a small coastal town, a young father and his five-year old son, both wounded from a recent divorce, encounter a lost and compelling young woman on the beach and strike up an unlikely friendship without realizing how deadly she may be.

As Roarke uncovers the shocking truth of her background, he realizes she is on a mission of her own, and must race to capture her before more blood is shed.

Title: Blood Moon
Series: Huntress/FBI
Author: Alexandra Sokoloff
Read copy: eBook (Kindle)
Published: February 24, 2015
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Twenty-five years have passed since a savage killer terrorized California, massacring three ordinary families before disappearing without a trace.

The haunted child who was the only surviving victim of his rampage is now wanted by the FBI for brutal crimes of her own, and Special Agent Matthew Roarke is on an interstate manhunt for her, despite his conflicted sympathies for her history and motives.

But when his search for her unearths evidence of new family slayings, the dangerous woman Roarke seeks - and wants - may be his only hope of preventing another bloodbath.

Title: Cold Moon
Series: Huntress/FBI
Author: Alexandra Sokoloff
Read copy: eBook (Kindle)
Published: May 5, 2015
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

The hunt for mass murderer Cara Lindstrom is over. FBI Special Agent Matthew Roarke has been working for this moment: the capture of a killer who savagely hunts the worst of humanity. But Roarke remains traumatized by his own near-death at the hands of the serial killer who slaughtered Cara’s family…and haunted by the enigmatic woman who saved his life.

Then the sixteen-year-old prostitute who witnessed Cara’s most recent murder goes missing, and suddenly pimps are turning up dead on the streets of San Francisco, killed with an MO eerily similar to Cara’s handiwork.

Is a new killer on the loose with a mission even more deadly than hers? In the pulse-pounding third Huntress/FBI Thrillers book, Roarke will have to go on the hunt…and every woman he meets, even those closest to him, may prove deadly.

My rating:

***copies provided by publisher through NetGalley***

I'm too lazy and a tad too disappointed to write a review for each book in this (ongoing) series, so I decided to write one review for the three books, keeping it as brief as possible.

The first one, Huntress Moon started off great. I was in the mood for a straight, full-on thriller, so this hit all the right notes...Until the narrative style started bothering me. Not at first, mind you, but later on, when I figured it was continuous and not an initial "wobble". It read like a screenplay (later I learned the author is a screenwriter), with (for me) too much tell and not enough show. I guess when you're writing for the screen the "show" is a given once the story is packaged up on the tape/disk/whatever.
I guess that without all the unnecessary words, keeping the story concise and tight, there would be no series, only one measly book.

Then, toward the end, the story took a couple of turns and I got the feeling the author didn't know exactly what genre she wanted to fit it in. There were the thriller elements, of course, which were good, but then there was a bit of the paranormal thrown in (the hero shares a link with the killer since their childhood and there is no reasonable explanation why except that maybe he's as cuckoo as the killer is), and, of course, there's a quasi-romantic element thrown in for good measure (the hero is inexplicably drawn to the killer, which just confirms my theory of him being cuckoo). Why does the hero have to want (if I bother the wording from the blurb of the second book) his quarry? Couldn't they possibly share a connection without having to it also being physical attraction? And what is with his perfect FBI agent having a boner for a cold-blooded, crazy-ass killer? Sure, she's hot, sure they share a cuckoo connection, but in the end she's a killer. Sure, she kills the bad guys, the guys with a monster inside, because she can sense the monster inside them (see, cuckoo), but the main thing here is that she kills. She's the bad guy. A bad guy hunting bad guys, but a bad guy nonetheless.
What's up with the perfect FBI agent having the hots for the psycho killer?

And what's up with me describing the FBI agent as "perfect"? Because apparently he is. He's hot, mouth-wateringly sexy and wanted by women and men alike. Or so the author describes him.
The stereotypes abound in these novels. The good guys are beautiful, handsome, sexy, attractive, smart, intelligent, perfect, incapable of putting a foot wrong, while the bad guys are ugly, scarred, greasy, grammatically-challenged etc. etc. etc.
Which places the killer, Cara Lindstrom, the cuckoo one hunting the monsters becoming some sort of monster herself, firmly into the realm of the good guys, since she's beautiful and makes the hero's mouth water.

Granted, life is not black and white, it's mostly gray, but that's what I like about fiction. It's not life, so it doesn't have to emulate life and be gray. It can should have it's black and white moments, and that's what most bothered me about this series. Murder is not black and white, at least where Cara and Roarke in relation to Cara are concerned. Murder for a good cause is better than "normal" murder. An "evil" deed to prevent more evil deeds is justified. Well, maybe I'm not as jaded as I thought I was, because murder is still murder, no matter the murderers intentions and I see nothing gray in it. It's starkly black and white, which made the contrast so jarring for me.


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