Recently promoted to Detective, Alex is out to prove himself and the Slasherazzi case is the perfect opportunity. Mutilated corpses are showing up across Tampa, and when the team discovers the newest victim was tortured alive, Alex becomes more determined than ever to stop the crazed serial killer before the horrific stabbings escalate further.
With the return of Alex’s ex-boyfriend and journalist, Vince, the investigation takes a dangerous twist: the killer starts showing a personal interest in Alex. Can he stop the murders and salvage his relationship with Vince, or does he risk letting both men get away?
This book starts out with a bang with the first scene being from the serial killer’s POV and THIS is what set this story above the typical police/mystery. Kaine opens the door of the killer’s mind, giving the reader a peek inside that twisted mind, and he doesn’t pull any punches. It was gruesome and diabolical, and even with the predictability of Alex and Vince’s relationship issues, this POV gave me something to look forward to.
Alex is one of the detectives working the Slasherazzi case. The serial killer is smart and crafty, giving the police very little to go on. If they don’t catch the killer soon, the FBI could be called in.
Alex and his ex-boyfriend, Vince, have a long, rocky history together. For the last two years, they had broken up several time because it seemed Vince’s ambition would get the better of him and he would snoop through Alex’s case files. He would then publish the little known facts in his newspaper column. Vince gained a name for himself in his field and Alex was almost fired. And yet, every time Vince came back and apologized Alex let Vince back into his life and his bed.
I didn’t understand why. Vince broke Alex’s trust more than once, but even Alex himself couldn’t pinpoint why he let Vince back into his life. So I waited for Vince to be redeemed. I wanted Alex to give me a reason to care for Vince, a reason to root for them to stay together this time, and if something were to happen with case (because at the time I was doing a lot of guessing when it came to Alex’s Slaherazzi case) to worry about Vince’s welfare.
What happened was Alex working the case took precedent over the relationship building. What happened with the case was shown, the relationship between Alex and Vince was told leaving me disconnected from them. There were actions such as watching TV and lots of steamy sex between the two, but even Alex said that he and Vince had no problems in the bedroom. So I waited for out of the bedroom relationship building and there was very little.
As it was, I didn’t like Vince very much as a romantic partner for Alex. He stole information from Alex, broke his trust, almost caused Alex to lose his job, and when Alex takes him back for the last time, Vince whines about Alex not trusting him. Well, yeah! Are you kidding me? It was unrealistic for Vince to think that Alex would immediately trust him once they were back together. Broken trust takes time to mend and rebuild. It is something you earn. That Alex sometimes felt guilty about not trusting Vince made me want to bop him on the head. The following relationship issues didn’t surprise me, and was predictable considering their shared history.
Aside from the serial killer’s POV, the last third of the story was the best part for me. Everything seemed to come together cohesively. Alex did a couple of things that were unbelievable for a detective who up to that point had been a team player. For the plot to work out, he did need to make a couple of questionable judgment calls that had me banging my head on the desk but also drew me deeper into the investigation. Even though I had guessed the serial killer correctly, the conclusion still stunned me and made me smile at the brilliant twist.