Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Bookish Thoughts: Blood Moon by Alexandra Sokoloff

The dark concrete corridor stretched out before him, smelling of blood and semen and terror. ~ Opening of Blood Moon



Blood Moon (The Huntress/FBI Thrillers #2) by Alexandra Sokoloff
Thomas & Mercer, 2015
Crime Fiction (Thriller); 318 pgs

More than ever, Special Agent Roarke with the FBI is determined to find the Huntress, a female serial killer who he believes caused the death of one of his undercover agents in the first book in the series, Huntress Moon. The more he discovers about this woman and how she chooses her victims, the more drawn to her he has become. His reasons have become blurred between the personal and the professional with the passage of time, but he knows the right thing to do--what he must do--is bring her in.  

With the assistance of his team, Special Agent Roarke comes up with a plan to bring the Huntress out into the open. They hope that by re-opening a cold case from the Huntress's past, the mass murder of her family, she will not be able to resist getting involved if she thinks the killer, known as the Reaper, is at it again.  What Roarke and his team did not expect, however, was the very real possibility the Reaper would strike again, even all these years later. Suddenly, Roarke's investigation becomes very complicated.  Not only must be try to find the Huntress, but also her family's killer, the Reaper, all the while hoping no one else will die.

Blood Moon is dark and intense, one of those books I had a hard time putting down while I was reading. The Reaper is an extremely dangerous serial killer who targets families with children. And not in a clean and gentle manner (as if that was possible). No, the crimes are brutal. They would strike fear in anyone's heart. As a result, I wanted the Reaper stopped just as much as the characters in the book. 

There are a few coincidences that occur in the book, some of which push the envelope in terms of suspension of disbelief. However, these weren't enough to pull me out of the story in my race to get to the end in hopes everything would be set right.  

I wish there was a bit more character development in terms of the more minor characters, especially Roarke's team. They play an even larger role in this novel, and it would have been nice to delve a little more into their backgrounds, know what they were thinking and about the jobs they do. Special Agent Epps plays a prominent role in Blood Moon, much like he did in the first book of the series. Epps doesn't quite trust Roarke's motives--and while I appreciated his being the legal conscience of Roarke in the first book, I admit he was a bit annoying this time around. Still, I think he offers a necessary grounding for his superior officer Roarke.

The reader gets to see more of San Francisco in Blood Moon, particularly the Haight-Ashbury District. I got a good sense of the place and the people from the author's descriptions. I was quite taken with Rachel Elliot. I remember a time early in my life when I imagined myself doing something like she does to help girls on the streets. I can't help but wonder if she will reappear in the next book in the series. I hope so.  She would be an interesting character to explore further, I think.

I did not mention it in my last review, but one of the big draws for me to this series is the setting. The books cross many borders, from city, county and even state lines. It is always an extra treat for me when a book is set in locations I am familiar with. San Francisco is one of my favorite cities, and so I always enjoy spending time there in books. But it's also nice to see places featured that may not get a lot of attention otherwise--like Blythe and Lake Arrowhead, both areas which are closer to home and very familiar to me.

While the overall story told in Blood Moon could be read on its own, I think it's best to start with the first in the series, given how tied to each other the two books are. I am curious to see what direction the author takes in the next book in the series, Cold Moon

To learn more about author Alexandra Sokoloff and her work, please visit the author's website. You can also find her on FacebookTwitterGoodreads

Source: I received an e-copy of this book from the author for an honest review.


© 2015, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

14 comments:

  1. Overdue a good crime novel I'm tempted by this one or indeed its predecessor and yet don't want to start any new series. Helpful review, thank you.

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    1. Tracy - I understand. Starting a series can be a huge commitment.

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  2. I just got the first in this series based on a review you wrote recently, since I hadn't heard of this author before. The setting is not right near me but in the same state, and I would love to visit San Francisco sometime. We are thinking of taking a trip next year to various spots north of LA county. Thanks for recommending this series to me. Sounds like a good read!

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    1. Rita - I hope you like the first book!

      I really like San Francisco, I spent a good portion of my childhood in Northern California, about 80 miles out from the city.

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  3. This does sound good despite the flaws. I don't love that the character development was a bit low but it's not totally unexpected given the genre. It does sound like a good read though with a nice fast pace!

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    1. Katherine - Yes, books like this don't always spend much time on the minor characters. It's definitely a fast paced book. I'm reading the third book in the series now and enjoying it.

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  4. I'm very curious of this series ever since I read your review on Huntress Moon. I'm glad this installment is another good read to you, Wendy.

    Hope you've a great weekend! :)

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    1. Melody - Thanks, Melody! I admit I don't read a lot of serial killer novels anymore, but occasionally I don't mind delving into one again. I just have to be in the right place.

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  5. Glad you enjoyed it! Look like it'd be a good story to read when you want a mystery and drama mixed together.

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    1. Lanie - It's definitely heavy on the thriller side!

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  6. I love it when books are set in locations I know (I wouldn't count San Francisco on that list, though). This sounds like an interesting book, but one that's too intense for me!

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    1. A.M.B. - I find myself looking for familiar landmarks when I read books set in familiar locations. :-)

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  7. This sounds interesting but way too dark and intense for me - and the bit about the Reaper targeting families with children pretty much warned me off. I'm glad you enjoyed it, though!

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    1. Lark - It is an intense read, and I hear you about the killer targeting families with children. It made it more difficult to read in some sense because I have a hard time when kids are harmed in books.

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