Compelling Romantic Suspense always is expected in the Faces of Evil series but, in Ruthless, Debra Webb raises the bar. While frantically investigating two serial killer cases, the recurring characters also are dealing with a plethora of emotions, not the least of which are fear, anger, and desperation, and so are you. By the end of Ruthless, you will be happily depleted but eager for the next book, Vicious. Yes, Ruthless is that good!
To those not familiar with the series, 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. Dan now is her boss and her lover again. Jess, a former FBI profiler, returned home to Birmingham following a botched case involving serial killer, Eric Spears a/k/a "The Player," who still is obsessed with her.
Jess is an acutely intelligent, independent, and driven heroine who continually does things her own way, even if they are outside of police protocol. Dan does not like it, but he accepts it. He also is very protective of Jess much to her annoyance.
Since her return to Birmingham about one month ago, Jess has dealt with murderers, taunting texts and gifts from Spears, drug lords, and threats to her life. When Spears sends Jess photos of three unknown women, she knows that he is ready to "play the game" with her and that one of the women will be his next victim. Jess desperately wants to find the women before Spears can claim another victim. While she is frightened for the women, Dan is terrified for her.
Unfortunately, Jess is forced to redirect her attention from Spears to the Man in the Moon serial killer when he delivers to her the thirteen year old remains of his last victim. Thirty-three years ago, a little girl in Birmingham was abducted from her home on the evening of the Harvest Moon. For the next nineteen years, one little girl disappeared from her home on the night of Harvest Moon. When he continues to deliver the remains of the little girls to Jess, she is scared that his thirteen year respite is over and that he will resume taking little girls. After he does take a little girl before the Harvest Moon, Jess and her Team, Chet, Lori and Cook, work furiously to solve the case and save the child. But, will they be in time to stop the Man in the Moon from killing again?
Meanwhile, Dan and Jess learn that Spears has a "network of worshipers" who are doing his bidding with respect to Jess by watching her and making threats on her life.
As if Jess did not have enough on her plate, at 42, she is worried that she may be pregnant with Dan's child. She also is wreck about her sister, Lily's mysterious illness.
While Jess manages to hold it together most of the time, she is her most vulnerable in Ruthless. While she does not fear for herself, she is afraid for Dan, for Spear's potential victims, for the little girl taken by the Man in the Moon killer, for her sister, and for the baby she is carrying if, in fact, she is pregnant. She also makes a few professional and personal mistakes which is unacceptable to her.
Dan and Jess cautiously but surely are moving toward a future together. Likewise,Chet and Lori are together dealing with the issues developing in their relationship.
There is sufficient deceit, betrayal, unknown killers, and twists to keep you captivated. You probably also will be exhausted from the pace of the action.
Ruthless is the sixth book in this series. While it is a stand-alone read, you may prefer reading its predecessors, Obsession, Impulse, Power, Rage and Revenge. I guarantee that if you read Ruthless first, you will go back and read the earlier books.
There is a reason Ruthless received 4 Ã???Ã??Ã?Â½ stars from RT Magazine.
I highly recommend Ruthless, and the other books in the Faces of Evil series, to any one who genuinely enjoys Romantic Suspense, that is, a balance between the two genres.
I received an ARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.show more
by Marijane Diodati