Riveting Romantic Suspense is synonymous with Debra Webb's Faces of Evil series. Revenge is no exception. The series succeeds, and only gets better, because Ms. Webb deftly integrates action-packed plots with character-driven plots. Equally important, Ms. Webb's recurring characters are well-developed, likeable, and genuine, compelling the reader to care about them.
The main characters are Dan Burnett, Chief of the Birmingham Police Department, and Jess Harris, the Department's Deputy Chief of the Special Problems Unit. Dan and Jess were lovers twenty years ago. Jess, a former FBI profiler, returned home to Birmingham following a botched case involving serial killer, Eric Spears, who still is obsessed with her. Dan now is her boss and her lover.
Jess is an acutely intelligent, independent, and driven heroine whose continual determination to do things her own way, even if they are outside of police protocol, drives Dan crazy. Dan always has her back which is not always easy since he is her boss. Dan also is very protective of Jess much to her annoyance.
Since her return to Birmingham about one month ago, Jess has dealt with murderers, a serial killer, drug lords, and threats to her life. Nothing, however, prepares Jess for the revelation by Frances Wallace, her favorite high school teacher, now 75, that she may be charged with the murder of Scott Baker. While Ms. Frances and the other "widows" at Vestavia Village may have had motive since Mr. Baker planned to build a complex that would block the views from their condos, Mr. Baker's past leads Jess's team's investigation in a different direction.
Twelve years ago, Scott Baker was one of the Five, offspring of Birmingham's wealthiest and most influential families. The Five ruled high school through cruelty and bullying. Matters became totally out of control when one of the school "geeks," Lenny Porter, committed suicide at a pre-graduation party. The Five agreed to keep secret the occurrences of that night.
The remaining members of the Five are convinced that an old classmate, Todd Penney, is seeking revenge for the death of his friend Lenny. Jess is not convinced that the killer is Penney. But, as members of the Five are murdered one by one, Jess and her team are intent on solving the case before the next murder.
Amidst the frantic investigation, Jess also must cope with the taunting texts and gifts from Spears. Known as "The Player" to the FBI, Spears makes it clear that he is ready to play the game with Jess.
There is sufficient deceit, betrayal, unknown killers, and twists to keep the reader captivated.
Ms. Webb effortlessly interweaves the personal and professional lives of the characters. As in each prior book, the characters continue to cope with their flaws, personal growth issues, and intimate relationships at the same time that they are dealing with murder and mayhem.
In Revenge, Jess's character evolves more than in any other book. She finally begins to face the demons that have haunted her since childhood. She recognizes that she fears letting people get close to her because there is a risk that she may lose them. Jess questions her personal decisions, embraces the idea of having friends and, most importantly, admits her feelings for Dan. Jess and Dan continue to progress cautiously in their relationship.
Revenge is the fifth book in this series. While it is a stand-alone read, the reader may prefer reading the predecessors, Obsession, Impulse, Power, and Rage. I guarantee that if you read Revenge first, you will go back and read the earlier books.Ã?Â
There is a reason Revenge received 4 Ã?Â½ stars from RT Magazine. It is that good.
I highly recommend Revenge, and the other books in the Faces of Evil series, to any reader who genuinely enjoys Romantic Suspense, that is, a balance between the two genres.show more
by Marijane Diodati