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 Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads.
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