Author: Joseph Spencer
Genre: Mystery/supernatural suspense
Published: September 1, 2012
Publisher: Damnation Books, LLC
"When everything is taken from him, Detective Adam White must choose what’s most important. Does he stick to the heroic ideals which made him a famed paragon of justice and take down a murderous madman? Or does he give in to his vigilante impulses, avenge his wife’s murder, and become the type of killer he’s hunted for so many years?"
I heard about this book as part of a book tour. Since I like serial killers and a good murder mystery, this book seemed like a winner!
Honestly, even after reading the book, I am not entirely clear what it was really and truly about. What I know is that a series of murders are happening that appear to be in the style of an old mob killer. However, according to all reports, the hitman is dead. The police department’s poster boy, Adam White, is on the case. His investigation leads him to Heath Grim, the masked and disfigured owner of the apartments across from the crime scene. This tangled mess of a story involves two warring mob families, death, horrible violence, and the supernatural.
I’m not even sure where to start with this book. The idea was interesting; however, that’s where it stopped. The beginning was rather engaging. Unfortunately, it went from meh to ugh pretty quickly. It might be easier to break it down.
- The whole serial killer angle was a big draw
- I like the supernatural element that was behind a lot of the motives
- The casino game near the end was well played
- The use of masks was an interesting idea
- Voorhees and Myers cross streets in front of Grim’s apartment complex was way too obvious. Further, on the next page, White compared Grim to Jason Voorhees. In addition, the stripper being named Gemma Jamerson was a *facepalm* moment. And, sadly, that isn’t the worst of it. The author makes pop culture references to Batman, movies, and so on; however, he suddenly changes the name of well known comic book characters, movie titles, and an actress. Why? I’m sorry, but that was just way too much for me.
- There were a lot of inconsistencies throughout the book. One of them was Grim’s Rosacea. On one page, he says that it appear a few years ago and doctors didn’t know why; however, on the very next page, he tells White that he has battled with it his whole life. Huh?
- Bruno’s cussing was too much. While I understand a character cussing like a sailor, when it interrupts the flow and halts the reader, it is way too much.
- As the book neared its conclusion, I found myself heavily reminded of The Dark Knight and Red Dragon by Thomas Harris. Grim, in a weird fashion, was an archetype of Bruce Wayne: his parents were taken from him, he lost someone dear to him, made a bargain to get revenge, and acted as a masked vigilante. And, if Grim was Bruce Wayne, Adam White was Harvey Dent. Along with the Batman theme, Grim’s comment about his girlfriend thinking he didn’t smile enough was just like Joker. As far as Red Dragon, the split personality/possession reminded me of Francis Dolarhyde.
- I didn’t like the pacing of the book.
All in all, I just didn’t like Grim. For me, it really wasn’t original and pulled too much from other sources. In addition, the grammar really tripped me up. I think, given some time and work, it might be better. Unfortunately, at this point, it felt like ripping teeth to finish the book, and it didn’t do it for me. Further, some of the violence seemed a little too over the top.