The 7th Victim
Vanguard, Nov 2008, $25.95
She is an FBI profiler assigned to the Behavioral Analysis Unit and after dealing with a bank robbery, Karen Vail goes straight to the house of the victim of the Dead Eyes Killer. This brutal psychopath earned the moniker by putting steak knives into the eyes of the women he mutilated. This maniac eviscerates his female prey and uses their left hands as paint brushes to paint murals with their blood.
The latest victim is his fourth; Vail is part of a task force trying to end his spree before another deceased disfigured corpse surfaces. She is also having problems with her soon to be ex husband and their son Jonathan, who refuses to live with him; insisting he is an abusive drunk. When she tries to talk to her ex, he knocks her unconscious. The next time they meet, she uses him as a punching bag, ending up in jail. After being released, her boss puts her on paid suspension pending the outcome of her assault trial. Jonathan ends up in a coma and Vail believes her spouse pushed him leading to his hitting his head. Still dealing with that trauma, she soon learns her mother is her aunt; they get into a fight. A disgruntled former FBI agent insists Vail should be considered a suspect in the Dead Eyes serial killer case as she has a record of violence and the murderer seems to have insider information. Vail knows she must is riding on her finding the killer.
Although some serial killer fanatics will insist Vail’s personal problems are overwhelming especially the mama segue, fans will enjoy this enthralling entertaining thriller because her issues realistically intrude on her investigation. The author makes this work into a one sitting read mainly due to the complex stubborn yet vulnerable (though her son) heroine. Alan Jacobson provides a chilling police procedural as the heroine’s personal life infringes on her professional life.