FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book. These are my honest thoughts.
This book started off with the potential to become my new favorite Eason book. The action was fast-paced and came often, which made for a great suspense formula. The characters were intriguing, which added richness to the story being told. The settings were very well used, which increased the depth of the tale. Overall, this was a fantastic series finale, capping off one of the best series Mrs. Eason has produced to date.
A few things bugged me enough to drop a star. The predictability level was pretty high for me. I figured out all but two major plot points long before the reveals. I still enjoyed said plot points, but I would have had increased enjoyment had I been shocked or surprised by more than two of them. There were a couple of plot holes that didn’t mesh well for me. Since Ava had been trained on puzzles of all sorts throughout her childhood and was described as a computer genius who was able to hack a facial recognition software program at age fifteen, it was unrealistic that it would take her and a bunch of friends a couple of weeks to finish a 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle. From my own experience, and I am not a genius by any stretch of the imagination, a 1,000 piece puzzle is doable in 1-2 days. I have no clue why it took Ava and company so long except that the timing had to be just so for the plot to work, which, of course, felt very contrived. As for the hacker skills, why did she give up on discovering a certain password after only two or three failed attempts? Why didn’t she put her skills to good use? She had time to do that if she had time to work on a puzzle. That whole thread did not work for me at all. Another thing that failed to impress me was that a certain somebody completely ignored the fact that he could have figured out one of his marks had children via birth, school, and military records, which wouldn’t have been difficult for him to discover since he was “meticulous” about research. It would have been super easy for him to have found out about the children, but that paper trail was completely omitted from the story.
All that being said, I definitely was riveted by this story. I kept flying through the chapters because they were written so well (other than the aforementioned holes). I especially enjoyed the scenes featuring a drone, a cane, and a yacht. The antagonist was truly creepy and evil. I was grateful he didn’t have me in his crosshairs! I liked that the torture he did was mostly off-screen and only hinted at. My imagination drew up enough images to creep me out. I certainly did not need on-screen graphic violence that would only serve to be crass and grant nightmares to the reader. The author definitely knew when and how to create the vibe without pushing past the limit.
The mirror scene reminded me of Jurassic Park. That was pretty epic.
Daria Nevsky was back! Oh, how she was highlighted! I can hardly wait for the novella Ryker and she will be getting, according to Lynette Eason’s latest newsletter. I cannot tell you how stoked I am for that. She’s one of my favorite Eason characters of all time, as is Ryker, and I am super excited that they’re pairing up.
Content: suicide, replacement expletives, alcohol, unwed pregnancy mentioned
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