Review: Prey by James Carol

Thursday 2 April 2015
Title: Prey (Jefferson Winter, #3)
Author: James Carol
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Publication Date: 26th February 2015
Pages: 384
ISBN: 9780571322312
Source: Publisher
Rating: 3.5/5
Purchase: Amazon
Has Jefferson Winter finally met his match?

Six years ago a young married couple were found brutally stabbed to death in their home in Upstate New York. Local police arrested a suspect who later committed suicide. But what if the police got it wrong?

Ex-FBI profiler Jefferson Winter is drawn into a deadly cat-and-mouse game with a mysterious female psychopath as she sets him a challenge: find out what really happened six years ago.

The clock is ticking and, as Winter is about to find out, the endgame is everything...

I sometimes like to start a new book before bed, and to read a couple of chapters just to get an idea of what it's about. Then I go to sleep. I recommend that readers do not do that with Prey, as you'll find yourself still reading over an hour later. It has a fast-paced, exciting opening that hooks the reader in, demanding that you read on. This is my first James Carol book, and it's a series I wasn't even aware of until a couple of weeks ago. It can be read as a standalone, but there were a number of times throughout where I felt I would have enjoyed it more, or understood certain things more if I had read the previous books.

Sometimes you read a book where the villain is just so well crafted that they just make the book, and that was certainly the case with the villain created here. Perhaps it's because I was reading it at the same time as watching Wentworth, and as it's fiction, I think it's okay to admit that at times I wanted the villain to succeed. After all, how boring would it be if they were apprehended straightaway? Prey is a book where you can't really predict what will happen, you never really know what's around the corner, you just know that you can't wait to find out. It's a game of cat and mouse better than any I have read in a long time. 

Jefferson Winter is an interesting and intriguing character, though not without his flaws. Only being given snippets of his history, and knowing that I've missed out on two previous books, only makes me want to read about him more, so I'll be hoping to check out the first books in the series very soon. You know, he isn't all that dissimilar from others like him in the genre, but there was just something that I liked about him and pairing him with a character such as Carla Mendoza, is preferable I think to him being a lone ranger. There was perhaps an element of 'seen it all before' but it is becoming more and more difficult for an author to create a wholly original idea, and Carol's writing, and obvious knowledge and research of psychopathy do give the book a bit of an edge, and means that I can end this review easily recommending this book to anybody with it on their TBR.


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