Review: Deserves To Die by Lisa Jackson (3.5/5)

Monday 8 September 2014

As he watches, her body drifts below the water's surface, forever altered. Before he disposes of each victim, he takes a trophy. It's a sign of his power, and a warning—to the one destined to suffer most of all…


In Grizzly Falls, Montana, Detectives Selena Alvarez and Regan Pescoli are struggling with a new commander and a department in the midst of upheaval. It's the worst possible time for a homicide. A body has been found, missing a finger. Alvarez hopes this means a murderer with a personal grudge, not a madman. But then a second body turns up…


As the clues begin pointing toward a suspect, Pescoli's unease grows. Even with Alvarez barely holding it together and her own personal life in chaos, she senses there's more to this case than others believe. A killer has made his way to Grizzly Falls, ready to fulfill a vengeance years in the making. And Pescoli must find the target of his wrath—or die trying…

So 2014 seems to be all about discovering new (well, new to me) authors and Lisa Jackson is the latest author. Being new to a series is always a bit worrying, you either end up feeling left out or manage to pick up the story straightaway. The enjoyment from a series does mostly come from being there from the start but at the same time there's always going to be new readers picking up a book and so it's important for the author not to alienate them.

As a fan of crime fiction I tend to seek out the more grittier stuff, the more bloody the better and with a brilliant psychopath and the blurb of this book certainly sounded along those lines. In Grizzly Falls a body is found missing a finger. At first glance the victim may have been murdered by someone with a personal grudge, Detectives Selena Alvarez and Regan Pescoli barely have time to ponder over that before a second body is found and the book kicks off. Add to that issues with their new Commander and we've got plenty to get our teeth stuck in to. It was a very eventful book and with a relatively small font in my paperback, a long one too (but very enjoyable). Alongside that we have Anne-Marie who was left for dead with her ring finger cut off. She has arrived in Grizzly Falls with a new identity and a determination not to be found by her attacker.

I loved the setting of this book and the atmosphere created by Lisa. I want my books to be vivid in my mind and this definitely was. Given the freezing cold setting the ideal reading setting would be next to the fire with a cup of hot chocolate in the dead of the night, adding to the overall atmosphere of the book.

The book features a lot of characters and also a couple of side plots. For me there were elements that would have been more enjoyable had I been invested in this series from the start, especially in the more slow moving parts of the book. You do often get this with series and so it's not a criticism as such just an observation. The book inevitably contains plot details from previous books (including a major one from the previous book) and our two main characters are facing problems in their personal lives. It's hard to feel a connection to the characters when you don't 'know' them but at the same time as a reader of various crime fiction series I think returning readers will absolutely love getting back into Regan and Selena's story. Looking at it without all that it is an incredibly addictive read that keeps you guessing throughout and there's plenty of twists and shocks along the way. Definitely one worth reading but I wish I'd read the previous books first.

Thanks to Hodder for the review copy via Bookbridgr.

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